In Formula One, the most important person to beat is your teammate. Who did that in Germany? Let’s go through the field and hand out the Team Mate Battle points!
1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster lap.
3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.
5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best on raceday.
Kamui’s reactions got himself out of trouble at lights out, when the Japanese driver had to dive around the stationary Bianchi. Staying behind Chilton, Bianchi managed to get back ahead of Kobayashi on Lap 3 and that meant the two Caterhams circulated at the very back for the first third of the race. Ericsson had started from the pitlane, following a hydraulic leak after FP3 which left him unable to take part in qualifying and resulting in a gearbox change. The gearbox change meant he incurred a ten second stop and go penalty as his punishment, as opposed to a pointless grid demotion. To add to the Swede’s misery, he then couldn’t take this stop & go penalty until the safety car withdrew, meaning he was well behind the action when racing resumed on Lap 3.
Kobayashi stalked the Marussias throughout the first stint, and was able to keep up with Chilton before passing him through the first round of stops. This was aided by the Marussia being delayed by around 3 seconds in the pitlane. Emerging ahead of Chilton, Kobayashi absorbed the pressure from the Marussia for almost the entire remainder of the race, with the gap between them only increasing beyond three seconds in the closing laps. Ericsson never recovered from starting the race half a minute later than everyone else.
Fastest lap: Kamui Kobayashi (5-5 to each) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Kamui Kobayashi (24-6 to Kamui Kobayashi) (after Round 10)
Race: Kamui Kobayashi (45-5 to Kamui Kobayashi) (after Round 10)
Caterham: 74-16 to Kamui Kobayashi (Total After Round 10)
Two stops for Bianchi versus a three stopper for Chilton resulted in a gap of 53 seconds between the pair at the end of the race. This was despite Max making a good start to vault up to 16th place at the start of the race, while Jules had an unexplained slow getaway from the grid and fell down to last, back in 19th by the end of Lap 1. By Lap 4, Bianchi had gotten back ahead of Chilton & the Caterhams, and remained there until race end, caught in the no mans land position of being the quickest driver from the Marussia/Caterham teams, but too slow to try racing the Sauber of Gutierrez ahead, who finished more than thirty seconds up the road.
Bianchi had it all his way in qualifying as well, feeling that he could only have improved by ‘maybe a tenth or two’ on his fastest time in Q1, while Chilton was the slowest runner to qualify. While Kimi Raikkonen looks safe for another season at Ferrari, it’s surely only a matter of time before Jules gets the call up to learn alongside Fernando Alonso before the Spaniard departs the sport for pastures new. Assuming Jules has the Ferrari carrot dangling in front of him, is there a risk he could get itchy feet and jump if a midfield team come knocking?
Fastest lap: Jules Bianchi (5.5 – 4.5 to Max Chilton) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Jules Bianchi (21-9 to Jules Bianchi) (after Round 10)
Race: Jules Bianchi (35-15 to Jules Bianchi) (after Round 10)
Marussia: 60.5 – 29.5 to Jules Bianchi (Total After Round 10)
Felipe Massa has been quite vocal in his criticism of young and inexperienced drivers since Sunday’s race, saying that they ‘need to realise they cannot win at the first corner’ and that he doesn’t ‘remember the likes of himself, Alonso & Raikkonen being involved in many accidents’. Which is funny, seeing as how Sauber opted to suspend Felipe for a race in his debut season, due to Massa’s many crashes and incidents.
There is no doubting Felipe’s speed, he has always been a very quick and brave driver, and the fact that he was willing to throw his Williams across the track to meet the apex of Turn 1 on the first lap of the race is either extremely brave or extremely stupid. Granted, the Brazilian had focussed entirely on Bottas and later said that he had deemed himself in front of Magnussen when they reached Turn 1, implying that the young Dane should have given way to him. There is an element of truth to that, but Massa made no compromises or allowances for the possibility that Magnussen would not yield nice and early. Maybe that’s something he could learn from his two aforementioned former colleagues, who tend to avoid incident more often than not.
A consistent criticism which is levelled at these Teammate Battle articles is the awarding of points to a driver, when the other driver has been eliminated for one reason or another. This is a valid criticism, particularly when a driver DNFs extremely early with no hint of how they may have fared during the race. There is every possibility that Massa, just like in Silverstone, was completely blameless for his demise and could have gone on to beat Bottas fair and square. But this would be a massive discredit to Valtteri, who was quicker than Felipe in every qualifying round, remaining in front at the start before driving a measured and calm race to grab second place, remaining in front of the looming Lewis Hamilton. Despite losing an entire practice session on Friday to a PR exercise. There’s a new Flying Finn in Formula 1.
Fastest Lap: Valtteri Bottas (5-5 to each) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Valtteri Bottas (18-12 to Valtteri Bottas) (after Round 10)
Race: Valtteri Bottas (45-5 to Valtteri Bottas) (after Round 10)
Williams: 68-22 to Valtteri Bottas (Total After Round 10)
Jean-Eric Vergne was just 0.1 seconds slower than Daniil Kyvat in Q2 on Saturday, but that 0.1 seconds was the difference between starting in 8th position and the 13th place from which the Frenchman would start the race. At the start, both avoided trouble to lie in 8th and 10th positions when racing resumed after the safety car, with things looked quite good for a solid points finish.
However, as appears to be the norm with STR in 2014, the race managed to slip through their fingers. Kyvat, forgivably, showed that he still has some rookie behaviour to be ironed out whe he attempted to go around the outside of Perez while still making the apex of Turn 8. Spinning himself off the track, he pitted immediately for new tyres and for a checkup, where some damage to his left sidepod was noticed. Whether this damaged some crucial components, cooling or otherwise, is unclear but Kyvat’s efforts to recover from this incident were in vain as his car exploded spectacularly at the hairpin on Lap 44.
While Kyvat had actually managed to get back ahead of Vergne, and was pulling away at the time of his retirement, it’s unlikely he would have won out over the race distance. Kyvat’s second stop came on Lap 32, putting on the soft tyres, meaning he would have had to pit again to complete the race. Vergne had pitted on Lap 37, two laps before Hulkenberg who completed a 2 stop strategy successfully, which means the Frenchman may have attempted the same strategy or opted for a more cautious 3 stopper late in the race. With a 15 second gap over Kyvat before their respective second stops though, either strategy call likely would have kept Vergne ahead of the Russian.
Vergne himself picked up a 5 second stop & go penalty during the race, which he took during his second stop. He picked this up for going off track with all four wheels while overtaking Romain Grosjean’s Lotus while leaving the hairpin. An incidental race for both STR drivers, and without incident, it looked like Kyvat had Vergne covered.
Fastest Lap: Jean-Eric Vergne (5-5 to each) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Daniil Kyvat (15-15 to each) (after Round 10)
Race: Jean-Eric Vergne (30-20 to Daniil Kyvat) (after Round 10)
Toro Rosso: 50-40 to Daniil Kyvat (Total After Round 10)
Sutil’s spin out of the race on Lap 47 almost helped Lewis Hamilton to a shot at the race victory, but that wasn’t the interesting part of the story. Sutil, who had started the race ahead of the penalised Gutierrez, had stayed ahead for the entirety of the race until he entered the stadium section at Hockenheim and felt his engine attempt to switch itself off. It kept going for another twenty seconds, until it did switch off entering the final turn, spinning Adrian out of the race. Adrian reported afterwards that he had been having intermittent power issues since his second stop on Lap 32, which meant a tough 15 laps until he stopped for the final time on Lap 47. However, in the post race press releases from the team, Monisha Kaltenborn & Giampaolo Dall’Ara (Head of Track Engineering) both stated ‘we suffered from a wrong driver procedure, following that the driver spun in the final corner and we still have to investigate the reasons for that.’
15 laps is a very long time for an ‘incorrect driver procedure’ to go unnoticed, what with the wealth of data and telemetry the teams have access to. Added to the fact that Adrian is unlikely to have failed to report in the fact that his engine kept trying to switch itself off, was Adrian’s supposed driver producedure error irreversible? Or were Sauber lacking in diligence to spot the problem and attempt to remedy it? Considering this is the team that radioed the wrong driver to stop his car during the Austrian Grand Prix, it feels a little disingenuous from Sauber to blame Adrian for something that is more likely linked to a Ferrari power unit problem, something that has afflicted a World Champion in a works Ferrari in similar circumstances on a few occasions this year.
Despite being outqualified on Saturday, Sutil was ahead of Gutierrez with the Mexican yet to stop a final time when Adrian spun out, so race points go to him.
Fastest Lap: Esteban Gutierrez (8-2 to Esteban Gutierrez) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Esteban Gutierrez (15-15 to each) (after Round 10)
Race: Adrian Sutil (30-20 to Esteban Gutierrez) (after Round 10)
Sauber: 48-42 to Esteban Gutierrez (Total After Round 10)
Both Force India drivers were astonishingly well matched in Qualifying, with 0.011 seconds separating the pair in both Q1 & Q3, Perez with the upper hand in Q1, and Nico in Q3. That was as close as Sergio got though, as Hulkenberg jumped up to 5th amidst the confusion on Lap 1, while Sergio worked his way up to 7th position in the opening laps. From there, Nico set about pulling away, something he did with ease. Opening up a gap of nine seconds to Sergio by Lap 13, there were no extenuation circumstances for the Mexican, as Jenson Button remained glued to Hulkenberg’s gearbox…the driver who separated the two Force Indias on track.
Perez survived the attack from Daniil Kyvat, but was unable to get around the higher than expected tyre wear on his particular car. Both drivers complained of a shift in balance from their Friday long runs, likely due to the temperature change, with the degradation switching from the rears to the fronts. While Nico was able to make this work, stopping just twice on his way to 7th position, Sergio required an extra stop to make it home in 10th position.
A full thirty seconds separated the Force Indias at race end, and with Nico seemingly back in control at the team, maybe he’ll be the next German to take his maiden home Grand Prix win next season? Victory is long overdue for the man who is dangerously close to becoming the next Nick Heidfeld.
Fastest Lap: Nico Hulkenberg (7-3 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Nico Hulkenberg (24-6 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 10)
Race: Nico Hulkenberg (35-15 to Nico Hulkenberg) (after Round 10)
Force India: 66-24 to Nico Hulkenberg (Total After Round 10)
Was Kevin Magnussen at fault for the incident that eliminated Massa and almost completely destroyed his own race? That’s a difficult one to answer, but as I am not an advocate for always apportioning blame for each and every incident that involves two cars, I would suggest that there was stupidity from both sides. Massa for failing to compromise his line even slightly, and Magnussen for attempting such a risky move in the first place. Even if Massa had not clipped the McLaren’s front left wheel at the apex, Magnussen’s corner exit speed would have been compromised severely by his tighter approach to the corner, and may have seen the McLaren lose out to more than just Massa.
Had Magnussen just faded to the left and taken up the correct racing line into Turn 1, he would have taken a safe 4th position leaving Turn 1. That, however, is quite boring, and while it didn’t pay off on this occasion, rookies must be allowed to make occasional errors of judgement in combat situations, provided there is no malice. Had Magnussen stuck his nose up the inside of someone like Alonso or Raikkonen, it is more likely that Kevin would have been the only person to lose out, and he would have learned from his positional error. Instead, it was Massa, and another crash for the Brazilian.
Apart from that, Kevin had a largely impressive race. His race pace was good enough to suggest that he would have raced Jenson home, as well as potentially the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. Jenson, who spent the first half of the race loitering around 6th & 7th position, was undone by a second stop that came too early. This resulted in a major loss of pace as he attempted to get to the flag, but he needed another stop, which came only 6 laps from the end.
Jenson looked a little off-colour in Hockenheim. Having been quicker than Magnussen in FP1, Kevin took over the role of lead McLaren in FP2 and held it through all the sessions, including a stellar qualifying, until Turn 1 of the race. Jenson was then handed a twenty second advantage over Kevin when the safety car withdrew, reduced to 9 by race end. Race points go, narrowly, to Jenson on this occasion for keeping his powder dry.
Fastest Lap: Kevin Magnussen (7-3 to Kevin Magnussen) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Kevin Magnussen (15-15 to each) (after Round 10)
Race: Jenson Button (40-10 to Jenson Button) (after Round 10)
McLaren: 57-33 to Jenson Button (Total After Round 10)
Having outqualified Maldonado comfortably on Saturday by a full 1.3 seconds, it looked as though Romain would lead the Lotus charge during the race on Sunday. Instead, however, Romain was hunted down by Pastor during the opening stint before being passed. Maldonado found himself in 8th position at one point during the opening stint as others pitted, falling down to 18th after the pitstops played out. He worked his way back up to 12th position by the chequered flag, almost two minutes behind race winner Rosberg.
Romain Grosjean had set off with the intention of making a two stop strategy, and despite losing out in the early .Sp5rl!47rs to Pastor, had successfully made it to Lap 24 to make his first stop. He didn’t get much further, as a power issue then meant that he had to retire the car. Would the two stop strategy have worked out for Romain had this not happened? Despite the Venezuelan having already stopped, Grosjean was back behind Pastor when Romain himself pitted on Lap 24, and was haemhorraging time while trying to get far enough into the race for a two stopper. Losing around 4 seconds a lap to the leading pace for the six laps prior to his pitstop meant that a two stopper with any sort of reasonable pace towards the end of each stint would have been a tall order, particularly with the shorter than expected lifespan of the supersofts Romain was using when he retired. Game, set and match to Pastor for Sunday’s running, while Romain gets the qualifying points.
Fastest Lap: Pastor Maldonado (7-3 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Romain Grosjean (27-3 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 10)
Race: Pastor Maldonado (35-15 to Romain Grosjean) (after Round 10)
Lotus: 69-21 to Romain Grosjean (Total After Round 10)
In the latest episode of ‘What Befell Kimi Raikkonen?’, the Finn found himself and his front wing being assaulted by fellow World Champions. Neither the contact with Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel were particularly the fault of the Ferrari driver, particularly the moment with Vettel, as there simply was nowhere else for him to go. Appropriately, considering the luck the Finn has had this season, the damage wasn’t bad enough to fix with a wing change, but was bad enough to affect the handling sufficiently to ensure that the supersoft tyres the Finn took on at his first stop were completely spent after just 14 laps.
Hochenheim has never been a circuit that has been kind to Kimi, and it wasn’t to be on this occasion either, shown up once again by another superlative drive from Fernando Alonso. Kimi was a second a lap slower in the first stint of the race, and the only time he was able to match Fernando’s pace (however briefly) was during the opening laps of the second stint, when Alonso was running the slower softs to Kimi’s super-softs.
There was flashes of the ‘normal’ Kimi Raikkonen, most visibly during his battle with Lewis Hamilton. Apart from that, Kimi continued to look like the pale shadow of the driver he has appeared for most of his Ferrari career. Fernando continued to do what he does best, and wrestle the car to a decent finish, including a stunning battle with Daniel Ricciardo which saw the Spaniard almost exhaust his fuel supply. Having to lift, coast & use 8th gear on the final lap to get to the line, Fernando said afterwards that he knew he was borderline on fuel, but decided to go all out to get track position and worry about it from there. Kimi has a massive mountain to climb to even start matching Alonso, let alone beat him.
Fastest Lap: Fernando Alonso (7-3 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Fernando Alonso (24-6 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 10)
Race: Fernando Alonso (50-0 to Fernando Alonso) (after Round 10)
Ferrari: 81-9 to Fernando Alonso (Total After Round 10)
From the moment that Lewis’s right front brake failed during Q1, the weekend was going to fall into place for Nico Rosberg. Only driver error, mechanical failure, or the safety car being thrown for Sutil’s Sauber could have wrecked Nico’s weekend, and all the luck fell his way, just like it did for Hamilton last time out in Silverstone.
How different could it have been? Lewis had handled Q1 much better than Rosberg up to the point where his brake failed, to the point that Lewis made it into Q2 despite sitting out the second half of the session. Having bungled his opening two flying laps, Nico had to resort to putting on the supersofts to ensure he made it into Q2. Instead, the Brembo disc on Lewis’s car let go, and he had to play catch up again.
Nico did exactly what was expected of him on race day, stretching his legs as and when needed at the front of the field, under little pressure from anybody. Lewis, having escaped from demotion to the pitlane despite breaking parc ferme rules (something that Marcus Ericsson was penalised for), got back into a position that you would expect from a car significantly faster than the rest of the field, but didn’t do it particularly cleanly. His passing move on Kimi Raikkonen was similar to the one he pulled at the start of the race in Fuji 2008, arriving at the corner all locked up and forcing the other driver to continue forwards to avoid a collision. His contact with Jenson was needless and could have been handled better by both parties, but the damage to Lewis’s car was sufficient to prevent him from attacking Bottas with as much gusto as he would have liked.
A great recovery drive from Lewis, perhaps not quite as impressive as the one Montoya pulled off at the same race in 2005 to go from last to 2nd, but race points go to Rosberg. Nico gets the nod for doing exactly what he and his car were capable of, as opposed to Lewis doing anything particularly wrong. Lewis gets the qualifying points for keeping his head in Q1.
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton (6-4 to Lewis Hamilton) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton (15-15 to each) (after Round 10)
Race: Nico Rosberg (27.5 – 22.5 to Lewis Hamilton) (after Round 10)
Mercedes: 47.5 – 42.5 to Lewis Hamilton (Total After Round 10)
Having outqualified Seb yet again, Daniel Ricciardo was lucky that Lap 1 didn’t go even worse than it did. Taking avoiding action around the outside of Massa’s flipped Williams, Daniel found himself with his left side wheels in the gravel at Turn 1. Fortunately, the car didn’t get skittish or bog itself down, and he was able to rejoin the action, albeit finishing the opening lap in 15th position.
From there, both Red Bulls enjoyed the battles they had to fight back to 4th and 6th position. Vettel’s dicing with the two Ferraris into the hairpin (as pictured at the top of this article) was particularly hairy, with all emerging largely unscathed. However, the highlight of the race has to have been the duel between Daniel Ricciardo & Fernando Alonso in the closing .Sp5rl!47rs. Watching Daniel defend, almost continuously, for three solid laps of attack from the relentless Alonso, showed that the future of Formula 1 is in great hands. Daniel darts across the track, flicking his car with dexterity to pick his angle of attack, most notably diving into Turn 9 in his quest to stay ahead of Alonso. While this approach worked on the first two occasions, Fernando had figured out that the Red Bull’s weakness would then be the exit of Turn 10, and set about putting this plan into motion heading into the hairpin on Lap 62. Just like a chess player, the moves unfolded, and Fernando found himself with the correct line to outdrag Daniel into the Motodrom.
While Daniel eventually lost out, it was a exhilarating display of defence against one of the most skilled overtakers in the sport, in two different cars that seem relatively closely matched in laptime, and acceleration/straight line pace. How unfortunate that the Renault power unit just cannot hold off Mercedes units in a straight line, or such closely faught battles may be for podium positions, rather than 5th and 6th positions.
So do the race points go to Sebastian or Daniel? Sebastian finished ahead of Daniel, but the Australian did close in on Vettel as the race wore on. A gap of 15 seconds before the first stops was down to just 8 seconds at race end, despite Daniel’s duel with Fernando. If Seb hadn’t been handed the initiative at the start by Daniel’s off track excursion, then Ricciardo would have been the likely victor yet again. Points go to the Australian.
Fastest Lap: Daniel Ricciardo (7-3 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 10)
Qualifying: Daniel Ricciardo (18-12 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 10)
Race: Daniel Ricciardo (45-5 to Daniel Ricciardo) (after Round 10)
Red Bull: 70-20 to Daniel Ricciardo (Total After Round 10)
- Team Mate Battles – British GP
- Team Mate Battles – Austrian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Canadian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Monaco GP
- Team Mate Battles – Spanish GP
- Team Mate Battles – Chinese GP
- Team Mate Battles – Bahrain GP
- Team Mate Battles – Malaysian GP
- Team Mate Battles – Australian GP