Malaysian GP qualifying: Mercedes pair seal Sepang front row lock-out

L-R: Rosberg, Hamilton and Max Verstappen for Red Bull starts in third for tomorrow's Malaysian GP.

L-R: Rosberg, Hamilton and Max Verstappen for Red Bull starts in third for tomorrow’s Malaysian GP.


Lewis Hamilton has taken his 57th career pole position – his fourth at the Sepang International Circuit and eighth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a ninth Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the season in P2. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 and Q2, another two runs in Q3, using soft tyres throughout.

Lewis Hamilton: “It feels great. I’m incredibly grateful for the car being where it is. The guys have done a great job for us to have such performance this weekend. To be able to extract it from the car is the thing I’m really happy about. It’s been night and day in comparison to Singapore. Of the laps I had there, I only really got a few of them together. Here, though, we’ve had lots of mileage, I’ve been able to build through the sessions and I felt really comfortable in the car.

“My final qualifying lap was the first lock-up I’d had all weekend into Turn One, so there was more time out there. It’s a shame I didn’t get to show it but I still got pole and it’s looking good for tomorrow. I’ve been here since last Saturday, so I’ve been able to prepare really well and I’ve been pretty quick all weekend. I’ve had incredible support ever since I arrived here in Malaysia from the people here – and from everyone else around the world too, as always. I want this just as badly as they do, so hopefully we’ll see it through tomorrow. It’s too soon to say how the race will go. When I’m on top of it like I have been this weekend, it generally goes my way on a Sunday. Let’s hope that pattern continues.”

Nico Rosberg: “Congrats to Lewis for the pole. He did a better job today. I was closer to him on my last lap but then I lost a couple of tenths in the last corner, which was a pity. I can be happy with a front row start as we have seen this year that there are some opportunities at the start and qualifying is not quite so important anymore – especially at a track like this where you can overtake. So, overall I’m quite confident for tomorrow. I hope we can give our Malaysian friends from Petronas and the whole country a great race.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was a pretty awesome session from Lewis, setting fastest time in all three parts of qualifying and taking pole by a big margin – and without completing his final effort. He’s been on point from the first laps this weekend and, without any reliability problems, he’s got the job done.

Nico also did a great recovery in Q3 after an oversteery first run left him P5. He got a strong P2 on his final lap and he probably left a couple of tenths out there on the track as well. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we need to keep the ball flat and focus on the job. It will be a challenging race with our main rivals very close on long run pace. Strategy will be important and so will avoiding mistakes in the challenging conditions. We’ve hit our first target for the weekend but the big one is still to come.”


2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, Saturday


And again…

2016 Singapore Grand Prix, Sundayyy


Nico Rosberg today took his 22nd career victory – his first at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and eighth of the 2016 season so far on his 200th Grand Prix start. Lewis Hamilton produced a battling drive to claim P3 – his 50th podium finish since joining the Silver Arrows in 2013. Mercedes-Benz stalwart Bernd Marylander also marked his 300th race as official Formula One Safety Car driver.

Rosberg (273) leads the Drivers’ Championship by eight points from Hamilton (265) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (538) leads Red Bull (316) by 222 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nico Rosberg: “That was a fantastic weekend! In the past the Singapore track has not treated me so well, so this win is a very special one and an even more emotional one for me. The weekend started perfectly with a good qualifying session. Then, I had a good start and was able to keep the Red Bulls and the Ferraris behind me – both of which had beaten us comfortably last year. It was a bit tight at the end after Daniel (Ricciardo) did a clever pit stop timing wise. If I would have also pitted I would have come out behind him because I was stuck in traffic on my in-lap, so we chose the best strategy to stay out and a big thanks to the team for that.

“It’s great that we learned from our mistakes last year and won at what is clearly a Red Bull track. This shows the competence and strength of our engineering group. I look forward to Malaysia now – but first I will definitely celebrate this win tonight!”

Lewis Hamilton: “A difficult day and a difficult weekend. At one stage it looked like I might even miss out on the podium but fortunately it didn’t work out that way. It was an okay start. I didn’t lose any ground which is a good thing after the last one. But then I was struggling so much after the Safety Car went in. The brakes were near critical temperature for most of the race, so I kept having to back off to cool them down. I then ended up making a mistake and ran wide which let Kimi past. Fortunately, with the car a bit lighter, I was able to bring the temperatures down, push a bit more on fresh tyres and get back past him in the stops.

“Pace and strategy weren’t the issue – it was all down to the brakes. I was just watching the leaders pull away right from the start, so P2 was the maximum today. If that’s the worst weekend of the year, I’ll definitely take it. These things are sent to try us and now I’m just looking forward to the next one and a chance to give it another shot. I need a couple of strong weekends to get back to where I need to be.”

Nico edging ahead?

Nico Rosberg today took his 21st career victory – his 1st at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and seventh of the 2016 season so far. Lewis H completed a 4th Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season. He leads the Drivers’ Championship by two  points from Nico Rosberg (148). MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (498) leads Red Bull (290) by 208 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nico Rosberg: “It means so much to me to win here at Monza. The crowd were unbelievable over the entire weekend and especially during the podium ceremony. This win is incredibly special for me and standing up there and singing with thousands of people gave me goosebumps. The race went perfectly for me and after a good start I was able manage the gap between myself and the car behind. Our car has been amazing this weekend and I extend a massive thank you to the whole team. I’m looking forward to Singapore, which was our weakest race last year. Hopefully we’ve learnt lessons from 2015 and we’ll come back even stronger!”

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t as ebullient: “It’s tough to take when you lose a race because of such a poor start. From there it was just about managing the tyres during the first stint and I was delighted to get back up to second after the first stop. I kept pushing as hard as I could and came within 15 seconds of Nico when we crossed the line. I’m happy with my performance this weekend but after such an incredible qualifying day yesterday it was disappointing to be unable to capitalise. I’m sure we’ll work on what happened at the start between now and Singapore.”

Home victory for Mercedes


2016 German Grand Prix, Sunday


Lewis Hamilton made the perfect start, managed the whole race it seemed with the perfect car.

He took his 49th career victory – his second at the Hockenheim Circuit and sixth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg fought back from a slow start to reach P2 before a five second penalty dropped him back to P4 at the flag. Hamilton (217) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 19 points from Rosberg (198) in P2, and he’s going to need a lead if he’s to take the awaited engine penalty.

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (415) now leads Red Bull (256) by 159 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “What a day! Just awesome! I wasn’t expecting to be as strong as I was today. I had a great start. We have been working really hard to get off the line faster and more consistently and that hard work has clearly paid off. A big thanks also to the guys in the garage, I’m glad they get a well-earned break now as they really deserve it.

“I’m super happy with today – especially after yesterday. When I personally fail, knowing from 23 years of experience that I could definitely have done better, I really kick myself. Today, I have the opposite feeling. I delivered the way I’m supposed to. I know that I had the pace, I worked the tyres just right and I was never under threat from the guys behind. No mistakes this time either, so I’m very happy with that.

“It’s awesome to go into the break on such a high. I was 43 points behind at one stage, so to keep working on the gap and turn it around like that is great. Lastly, I just want to say a big thank you to the fans. So many of them have turned up here in Germany and they’ve been so supportive. That positive energy really drives me on, so a big thank you once again to them and I hope they have a great holiday. I’m definitely going to!”

Nico Rosberg: “It was a difficult and disappointing day for me. I had a lot of wheel spin at the start. That was strange, because my start during the formation lap was good. That cost me the lead and then the next two places as well, which meant it was always going to be a difficult race from there.

“I was happy to fight back to P2 after a tough battle with Max and was very surprised that I got penalised. We also lost a lot of time in the pits, so a lot of things went wrong today. But that didn’t count really at the end. The penalty made it impossible beat the Red Bulls. In general, I didn’t feel as comfortable in the car as I have done in the past – especially with the rear tyres. I had some problems with them today, so I need to get my head down and find out with my engineers what went wrong. I look forward to the summer break now and want to come back stronger. I hope everybody in the team can charge the batteries. It’s very well-deserved.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “First of all, what a fantastic drive from Lewis and a great feeling to win the German Grand Prix once again with Mercedes. This has been a very special weekend for the team and Lewis delivered a pretty perfect drive today: great start, great speed, great management. He’s gone from a big deficit to now leading the championship, so it’s been a very good streak.

“We have seen these waves of momentum in both directions and he is riding the crest right now. But as well as the sweet part of the afternoon, for Nico it was more bitter. The start didn’t go well for him with big wheel spin but then he struggled for pace in the race, too. There were two big talking points. First the penalty. I think you will find lots of opinions but what we really look for is consistency in the decision making. Sometimes you see cars battling and there is no consequence, other times penalties are handed out. Today’s felt tough because I think the fans want to see hard racing – and that’s what it was.

“Then there was the pit stop to serve the penalty. In such a high-tech sport, we don’t often have to use a stop watch in a manual process. Today, it didn’t start, so we had to take the safe option to make sure Nico observed the right amount of time. Sometimes these things happen.

“Overall, I think we can be very pleased with our first part of the year. 11 wins from 12 is a nice statistic to take into the summer break – but we know that our rivals are continuing to improve, too. We will take the break, recharge the batteries and come back with fresh energy in Spa.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “First, huge congratulations to Lewis and the team for a great victory at our home race here in Germany in front of our very supportive colleagues from Mercedes-Benz. It was enormously important to us to do a great job here, representing the 280,000 Mercedes employees worldwide.

“Lewis managed the race faultlessly from start to finish – delivering pace when necessary and saving the tyres when required. The pit crew, too, did a great job on all three of his stops, allowing him to maintain the gap he had worked hard to build to those behind. For Nico, it was a less straightforward afternoon. His clutch was over-engaged at the start, leading to excessive wheel spin and an instant drop to P4. That gave us some work to do to get him back up to second – which we managed through a combination of a good strategy and some bold overtaking on Nico’s part.

“Unfortunately, he was then given a five second penalty for the latter – which dropped him back once more. We did lose some time in the box as we took more safety margin than was required. But, as it turned out, this didn’t affect the result. It became clear quite soon into the final stint that we didn’t have the pace to compensate for the penalty. We were hoping that, with no soft tyres remaining, we would manage to catch and pass the Red Bulls at the end once they ran out of rubber on the super soft – but to their credit they managed it very well, so all respect to them.

“As they say in motorsport, you’re only as good as your last race – so it’s good to have something to savour over the next month, as that’s something we hadn’t managed in either of the previous two seasons. A very nice way to pick up the holidays, which will provide everyone with a very well-earned break before we come back even harder in the second half of the season.”

It’s a bit quiet…



2016 German Grand Prix, Saturday

The high cost of attending races and reduced engine noise has been put forward for the fall in spectator numbers at venues such as the Hockenheimring, said Sebastian Vettel: “It’s clear nowadays, let’s say the last couple of years haven’t been that popular. There’s been a lot of negative in the press and obviously people, fans, follow that as well and that doesn’t help.

Maybe but the racing is as good as it ever was. Nico Rosberg pipped his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position this afternoon at the German Grand Prix in a dramatic qualifying session. The result marks the 300th and 301st Formula One front row grid slots for Mercedes-Benz Power. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 (Soft) and Q2 (Supersoft), with Rosberg completing one run and Hamilton two in Q3 (Supersoft).

Nico Rosberg: “That was a difficult qualifying for me! I had an electronic problem with my throttle on my first quick run in Q3, so I had to abort. That meant I had a bit more fuel on my final run. I did a pretty good lap but I wasn’t sure if that was enough.”

Lewis Hamilton: “There was nothing particularly wrong today. My final lap just didn’t work out. It was pretty close out there and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. The car was feeling great. The team did a great job to get it where I needed it to be and it was definitely on for pole.

“I was two tenths up coming out of T2 – but from T8 onwards it started to deteriorate and I couldn’t maintain the gap. I’ve missed out on pole, so I didn’t do what I was supposed to do – but it’s in the past now, so you just let it go and look forwards. It doesn’t mean the race isn’t there to win tomorrow. I’ll try to get a good start and see how it goes from there.

“I don’t know what the strategy will be – we’ll look through that tonight. But this is a track where you can overtake, so I don’t have to go for it at the first corner. It can be somewhere else. Last time we raced here I started dead last and finished on the podium, so this is definitely a big step up from that! The pace is clearly there, so it’s still been a good day and I’m generally pretty happy. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to do something from where I am. I’m just focused on trying to move forward and if I can drive like I have done in the past few races then anything can happen.”


2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Thursday



Silver Arrows blaze to victory in scorching hot Hungarian Grand Prix

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday


Finally… Lewis Hamilton took his 48th career victory – his fifth at the Hungaroring and fifth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a third Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season in P2. Hamilton (192) now leads the Drivers’ Championship by six points from Rosberg (186) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (378) leads Ferrari (224) by 154 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t know what the secret is here. Naturally, having a great team and everything coming together is key. But it’s a track that I think really works well for an aggressive driver. Sunday was one of the hottest races I can remember here. Looking after the tyres in those conditions was really hard, so I’m glad I managed. Thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work – and to all the fans I have here. I don’t know why but, when I go to Budapest, I always seem to have a lot of support. I love it here so it makes for a great week.

“I didn’t know how long the tyres were going to last, so trying to spend the money wisely in terms of tyre life and being able to push when I needed to push was a tricky balance to find. The race was going really well and I was just thinking ‘huh, no mistakes so far’ when I managed to lock up and went off at T12! At that point I was like ‘hey, stay focused and get back on it!’ which luckily I managed to do.

“I’ve not really thought about the standings much but it’s definitely a good feeling to get the job done here – particularly as it’s not been my strongest weekend. Not as strong as Silverstone, for example. But it’s been an awesome few races and I’ve just got to keep that kind of form up for the rest of the season.”


2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday

Nico Rosberg: “Really, I lost the win in the first corner when I dropped down two positions, so I’m disappointed as I wanted to win the race and was confident I had a strong possibility to do so. It wasn’t the best start from me, so it was good to catch Daniel directly in T1 and get P2 back. But behind Lewis it was impossible to overtake on this track. I had great pace in the race, which is very positive – but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the most of it. It’s great that my second home race is coming up so soon. I look forward to Hockenheim and will be pushing flat out to repeat the win from 2014.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “We’re delighted with today’s result. To take a one-two finish at a circuit that hasn’t been so good to us in the past two years is really satisfying. This place has been Red Bull and Ferrari territory, so it just shows what a great place we have got to with our chassis and engine package that we were able to take such a strong finish and control the race like we did. It was a race that needed a lot of management and we had told the drivers all weekend that winning would depend on making the tyres last. They both did this really well – though when things got a bit close for comfort in the second stint, we asked Lewis to pick up the pace and he responded well to build the gap we needed after Red Bull rolled the dice with Ricciardo’s strategy.

“The back markers were a challenge like always here, particularly some of the usual suspects, but they didn’t end up influencing the outcome which was good. There has been a lot of talk about the Championship situation but, if this was a football match, we’d have only just completed the first half. There’s still a very long way to go this season. We have seen a lot of action so far and I am sure there will be much more to come…”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “After the rather drawn out excitement of yesterday’s Qualifying session we were hoping for something slightly more straightforward today – and so it proved to be. Strong starts from all of the top five drivers meant they came into T1 in close formation. It looked for a moment like Lewis might lose the lead he’d grasped off the line and that Nico would find himself down to third. However, great driving from both saw Lewis hang on in front while Nico produced a fantastic manoeuvre around the outside at T2 to re-establish a 1-2 for the team. From there, it was a matter of controlling the pace and tyre usage through a two-stop strategy.

“Red Bull chose to make a very early final stop for Ricciardo which put some pressure on us – as I’m sure it was intended to do. But both cars were able to respond with enough pace to keep him covered and stick to our original plan. Overall an excellent 1-2 finish and an excellent way to cap off the first half of the season, which we can be very proud of thus far. Congratulations to the drivers – and also to the pit crew, who achieved a second consecutive fastest race pit stop. We now very much look forward to our home race in Germany next week.”


2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday

A great weekend for UK sport

2016 British Grand Prix, Saturday


A brief respite from the misery as we see success in cycling, tennis and Formula One as home race heroics from Lewis Hamilton followed for the third time by Nico Rosberg complete a Silver Arrows 1-2 at Silverstone.

In the words of the boys…

Lewis Hamilton: “Best weekend of the whole year! I couldn’t believe it started raining at the beginning of the race. I thought: ‘are you serious?’ It makes it so much harder for everyone when that happens. I couldn’t really see the safety car either. It was going really slowly and my rear brakes were getting way too cold, so I was trying to heat them up and before I knew it I’m heading straight for the back of the thing! Thank goodness I could turn!

“Luckily it was okay and from there I was feeling great in the wet conditions. A huge thank you first of all to the team for doing such an amazing job. Our performance this weekend has been outstanding. The engineers and mechanics did a great job, so big thanks to all of them once again. And then the crowd… I mean, where do they all come from? It’s absolutely amazing! Nothing we see in any other country even comes close – and that for me just shows the passion us Brits have for sport, regardless of the weather. It’s pouring down and these guys are just like ‘yeah, we love it!’

“This is beyond my wildest dreams, honestly. When I was younger I didn’t see the other stuff that comes with being a Formula One driver. I was just in awe of the racing and it wasn’t until I grew up that I started to understand. I’m just trying to bask in the glory and enjoy it because one day I’ll be watching someone else, hopefully a young Brit, winning here and I want to make the most of these moments. For now though, it’s my time – our time. Thank you so much to everyone out there today. It’s just been unbelievable.”

Nico Rosberg: “Lewis did a better job over the whole weekend and deserved the win, so congratulations to him. I was happy to have finished the race as my gearbox issue at the end was really serious and I almost had to retire the car – but luckily I got it fixed. Generally, though, it felt great out there and I had a great pace on the medium tyres. The battle with Max was good fun. It took a bit of time but I managed to overtake him on the outside. Over the whole weekend the atmosphere here at Silverstone was really outstanding.

“Okay, I recognise that some guys out there don’t like me as much as Lewis. But that’s normal in his home country and I felt that the majority was very supportive of me. That’s why the British fans are the best and most passionate racing fans in the world, so thank you to them for making it a really great event. Now I look forward to the last two races before the summer break including my home Grand Prix in Germany.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “This afternoon was Formula One at its best: probably the best fans in the world, a wet-dry race, loads of incidents and overtaking, and a fantastic home winner at the end of it all. On days like this, Lewis is unstoppable: he pulled the gap in the early laps, we made the perfect call on the strategy, then he controlled the race from there. He was calm all day, had everything under control and just nailed the race. Brilliant.

“For Nico, it was a bit trickier: running in the spray in the wet always costs lap time, then he had a long battle with Max. He lost out on the intermediates, but then was able to hunt him down after switching to the dry tyres and pulled off a great outside move in to Stowe, one of the fastest points on the circuit. In the final laps, he was stuck in seventh gear, which was clearly a critical problem that would have resulted in failure.

“Our understanding of the rules is that this kind of message is allowed – it’s not the kind of driver coaching the rules were designed to prevent – so we gave him the necessary information and he did a great job to hold his position and bring the car home. It’s an amazing feeling for the whole team to win a fourth British Grand Prix in a row, in front of so many of our colleagues from our factories in Brixworth and Brackley. It will be a big celebration with our families this evening and then back hard to work in the morning. After so much drama already in 2016, it’s amazing to think we haven’t yet even reached the halfway point of the season…”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “A fantastic race result as the home Grand Prix for everyone at Brackley and Brixworth. We haven’t had a 1-2 since Russia, so it’s great to have both drivers up there on the top two steps once again. Our congratulations first and foremost to Lewis on a third consecutive home victory – his fourth in total thus far – and a really perfect weekend overall. We were spared the variability of a standing race start with the last-minute downpour. From there, we had two clean rounds of pit stops – benefiting nicely from a convenient VSC period for the switch to intermediates. Both were double-stops with the drivers arriving in quick succession, which is never an easy task, but were immaculately executed by the crew, so well done to them.

“As the race settled down from there, it was clear that Lewis was in control while Nico had a battle on his hands with Verstappen. The Red Bull was strong in the wet – likely due to their choice to run with a higher wing level over ultimate top speed. It was a great duel between the two of them, with Max managing to make his car very wide indeed but Nico eventually pulling off a fantastic move around the outside at Stowe corner to take the place.

“A crisis then developed six laps from the end when Nico’s gearbox got stuck in seventh gear. To finish the race with minimal use of that gear while also fending off the advances of the Red Bull behind really was a great piece of driving, so we applaud him for that. A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth for bringing us such performance from the car and the result today. A proud day for the team in front of a truly fantastic crowd.”


The duel continues…

Großer Preis von Europa 2016, Sonntag

Großer Preis von Europa 2016, Sonntag

Großer Preis von Europa 2016, Sonntag


Nico Rosberg took his 19th career victory today – his fifth of 2016 – to become the first Grand Prix winner at the Baku City Circuit. A difficult afternoon for Lewis Hamilton saw him recover from a P10 grid slot to eventually finish fifth. Rosberg (141) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 24 points from Hamilton (117) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (258) lead Ferrari (177) by 81 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nico Rosberg: “I am so happy to win here in Baku. I really felt at one with the car in a way I’ve never felt before. I didn’t have the feeling that something would go wrong at any point today. The car was awesome this weekend, so thank you so much to the team for this. I already began to sense it in Qualifying yesterday, this perfect feeling.

“We expected a Safety Car moment in this race, so I was hoping that it wouldn’t happen as that tends to mess up the race in general. But it was a pretty straightforward afternoon for me at the front. There was only one little concern when I felt that I was down on power a bit in the middle of the race. The engineers weren’t allowed to tell me what I had to do, so I had a look at my steering wheel and tried to fix it myself, which worked out well.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I have no idea what happened out there today. I just had no power. I was in an engine mode which made it feel like I was driving without ERS for a long time. We have hundreds of different combinations of switch position on the wheel and, no matter how much you study, there’s no way to remember them all. I was driving around looking at my screen trying to work out what was wrong – but I couldn’t see anything I’d done differently.

“It’s such a complicated, technical formula we have now and I don’t really see the benefit in preventing us from being able to fix these things out on track. It was just a real shame that I couldn’t race. If I’d been able to resolve it, I might have at least been able to be a part of the show and fight with the guys ahead of me. With about 10 laps to go it sorted itself out – but by that time there was nothing to be gained or lost as I was more than ten seconds behind the guy in front and the same ahead of the guy behind. I actually turned the engine down at the end to save it, knowing that I don’t have so many left for the season. But it wasn’t to be today, so the result is what it is. I’ve got points for P5 and now I’ll try to bounce back at the next race.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “We all went into the race expecting lots of action – and while maybe the 51 laps didn’t deliver as many fireworks as we saw in other races this weekend, there was plenty going on in our garage! First of all, let’s talk about Nico. He did a fantastic job this entire weekend – a great pole position yesterday then a dominant race performance today. He got a good start, pulled away and just controlled everything from there; it wasn’t a problem-free afternoon for him but it was pretty close to being so.

“For Lewis, the first target was to survive lap one; he kept his nose clean and then started picking off the cars in front of him. He reported some electrical de-rates quite early on but it only became clear around his pit stop that he was suffering from quite a big performance deficit with the car. Once we had identified the problem, it could have been changed with a single radio message – but the rules, which are of course the same for everybody, prevented us from doing so, and we were only authorised by the FIA to use very specific phrasing. It was an unusual and counter-intuitive problem with an engine mode so there was no way Lewis could know what to change to solve it. Eventually, he managed to find the right solution – as Nico had done several laps earlier, having switched into the mode causing the problem part way through the race – and then he set the fastest lap of the race at that point.

“However, it was too late to recover any position, so he took the smart decision to save the engine and bring the car home. We have had a warm welcome here in Baku and the organisers have delivered a fantastic and exciting new street circuit. But from the team’s point of view, although we extended our points lead, we should have come away with more – and correcting those problems will be our focus in the coming days.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “Starting at the very beginning, we were relieved to see both cars make it cleanly round the first lap after the chaos of the GP2 races earlier in the weekend. From there, Nico did a fantastic job. After a great pole position yesterday, he capitalised on that with a superbly controlled drive from start to finish – managing his tyres, engine and brakes perfectly.

“For Lewis, it was never going to be easy from P10. Unfortunately, this turned out to be even more difficult than we had predicted. The pace of the car was not as strong as it had seemed on our long runs during Friday’s practice sessions, with some of our rivals proving impossible to overtake. This is something we need to look into and understand, as he wasn’t able to extract the pace he’d shown throughout the weekend to that point.

“We did see a problem with Hybrid energy management on both cars. There was a configuration related to the management of Hybrid energy which unfortunately was not correctly tuned during our race preparations. What this caused was premature de-rates down the straight, costing the driver around three to four tenths of a second per lap. It was only present when the driver selected a specific strategy mode on the steering wheel, with the other modes unaffected. Unfortunately, under the new radio restrictions introduced for this year, the team is unable to tell the driver which mode to use – or not to use, in this case.

“Having sought permission to do so from the FIA, we were able to give the drivers an indication – but nothing more. It was a bit like asking them to solve a crossword puzzle with minimal clues while driving at in excess of 200mph, which is no mean feat! Unfortunately for Lewis, it took around 15 laps to rectify the problem. This lost him a lot of time before eventually he was back to full speed – by which time it was too late to make a charge for the podium, which was a definite possibility for him today. The bigger problem we need to understand is why his car was not as quick as it should have been overall.”

Montreal master class from Lewis

2016 Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday


Following an electric start by Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton took his 45th career victory today – his fifth at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and second of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg recovered to P5 after an eventful race which saw him take to the grass at the first corner and pick up a puncture in the closing stages.

Rosberg (116) leads the Drivers’ Championship by nine points from Hamilton (107) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (223) leads Ferrari (147) by 76 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t know what happened at the start. My practice start before the formation lap was perfect and I thought ‘this is going to be a breeze, getting off the line’. But when it came around for real it felt like I was going nowhere, so I need to figure out what happened there. I then got massive understeer into Turn One with cars attacking from all sides and had an unfortunate tap with Nico. After that it was just about trying to hunt down Sebastian. He was lightning on the first lap and we both had good pace from there. Other than one small lock-up into Turn 10 I didn’t make any mistakes all race, so I was really happy with that. It was very much about managing tyres today and the team were spot on with the strategy call.

“I really enjoyed the race – everything went unbelievably smoothly. Every time Sebastian closed up I just had enough to keep the gap. I was just so in the groove.”

Nico Rosberg: “Today’s race was really tough. Starting at the beginning, Lewis had a bad start, mine was decent and Sebastian got a super start. So, I was alongside Lewis and tried around the outside. I had to try the move or accept I’d be behind him. In Barcelona it worked but this time it didn’t. It was a hard manoeuvre from him but that’s racing and I need to do a better job next time.

“I lost a lot of places going down the escape road and that cost me a shot at the race. From there I did my best to fight back and I saw there was a chance of a podium – but then I got the puncture and had to pit again – dammit! I was pushing hard after that to regain the positions but it was a massive mission managing the car with brake warnings coming on and running low on fuel. It was a good battle with Max – again, on the limit but good racing. I tried everything to get past him and had a massive spin at the end.

“On that final lap I just about managed to drag it round for P5 ahead of Kimi, so a disappointing result as our car was awesome today but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’ve got two days at home now to get ready and go for it again in Baku.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was a fantastic, action-packed race like we expect in Montreal – and a sensational drive from Lewis to take the win. As we went into today’s race, it wasn’t clear whether one stop or two stops would be the way to go in the cold conditions and depending on how the tyres warmed up. But when Sebastian stopped behind the VSC, then it was clear that making just one stop was our best chance of winning – and then it was up to Lewis to keep the tyres alive, stretch the stints and do the pace we needed. He did a brilliant job of that and, when we could see from other cars on older soft tyres that they were holding on well, it was clear that the win was really on.

“As for Nico, his day was defined by Turn One and the fight-back from there. Lewis reported on the radio that he had understeer and cold front tyres going into the corner – and there was some risk for Nico to be running on the outside line. It was a hard move and clearly you don’t want or expect to come out of Turn 2 with cars in 2nd and 9th positions when you start from the front row; but to be honest, these discussions after each race give me a feeling a little bit of deja vu. After that, Nico got his head down and did a fantastic job; he was on course for the podium before he suffered a slow puncture, which meant we brought him in for a second stop, then he was managing the car and also marginal on fuel, so he couldn’t attack every lap. He had a great battle with Verstappen, who was defending very well, then lost the car under braking into the final chicane, fighting hard for every point.

“From the team’s perspective, a number of factors meant we didn’t take a double podium, though we did score the most points of any team today. But the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull showed that the competition is right there with us – and we need to get everything right in order to maintain our position at the front.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “An eventful and entertaining race from start to finish. It was far from the perfect start, of course. We knew it was going to be tricky with such cold conditions, as it’s difficult enough to warm the tyres up at this circuit even on a hot day. Sebastian, however, had an outstanding start, coming straight past both of our drivers well before they ran out of road at turn two. From there, it was very much a recovery drive for us.

“We opted to put both cars on a one-stop strategy once both Ferraris appeared to have committed very early to a two-stop. This worked well and played a big part in the victory for Lewis. For Nico, however, a late puncture forced a second stop. It looks like he also collected some debris in one of his radiators, as he had overheating throughout the race. While this may not necessarily have affected his performance, it would have been quite a big distraction to manage. A podium was a possibility for him today – but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Our congratulations to Lewis for yet another Canadian grand prix victory – and also to the team in the garage and on the pit wall, who were flawless in their pit stops and strategy calls.”


2016 Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday

Großer Preis von Kanada 2016, Sonntag

Stunning victory for Lewis Hamilton in chaotic Monaco Grand Prix

Großer Preis von Monaco 2016, Sonntag

Großer Preis von Monaco 2016, Sonntag

Says it all, really.


Lewis Hamilton took his 44th career victory today – his second at the Circuit de Monaco and first of 2016. A tough afternoon for Nico Rosberg saw him finish seventh after a race-long battle in traffic. He (106) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 24 points from Hamilton (82) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (188) lead Ferrari (121) by 67 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “This might be the best place ever to have win number 44 – it’s been eight years since I won here! What a special day… truly one of the hardest races I can ever remember having. To stay in the zone, not make any mistakes and come out on top is just unbelievable. I walk along here every day and think about the greats who have won this race – the likes of Fangio, Moss, Hill and Senna – and it’s a truly amazing feeling to have my name added to that list again.

“It’s very unusual that I’m able to take any credit for a strategy decision – but when the team first asked me to box, I could see the track drying and my tyres still felt pretty good. So I told them all that and they said to stay out, which worked out great. I just carried on looking after the tyres – picking up the pace a bit when I saw what times people were starting to do on the intermediates as it dried out.

“I was matching their times at that stage so I thought ‘I could actually hold onto this until it’s dry’. Staying in that window was really tricky, though, as the first two sectors were almost dry. When I came out on the slicks it was like driving on ice. It was tough knowing how hard to push and we came out very close together. If he hadn’t had a bad stop I wouldn’t have been ahead. But these things happen for a reason – and today the reason was that 44th win.”

Nico Rosberg: “In racing you have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day for me. I didn’t have the pace to fight for the win and we need to understand why. It was possibly a brake issue – but I don’t know for sure yet. I didn’t feel like I could push to the limit at the beginning of the race on the wet tyres. It was a simple decision to accept the request from the team to let Lewis past – even if it hurt very much in that moment. I was very far off the pace and Lewis quite clearly had the speed to win for the team. We’ve always had that rule – if you’re ahead and the other guy has a chance to win, you give him that chance.

“From there it just didn’t go my way. I had a tricky pit stop and was held in the box because there was traffic in the pit lane. So the cars were just streaming by and suddenly I was down to sixth. Once you’re behind in Monaco that’s it – you’re stuck. At the end, Nico (Hülkenberg) had a lot more rubber left on his Soft tyres and my UltraSofts were finished, so I lost temperature in the drizzle and lost grip, which let him past too.

“That kind of summed it up, really. I’m massively disappointed with today – I really wanted to win my home race again but it didn’t work out. It’s been tough and I’ll probably need a day to take it all in – but then I’ll shift my focus to Canada and a chance to come back stronger.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “What an incredible drive from Lewis: he didn’t put a foot wrong, we took some risks together as a team and lady luck smiled on us as well. It was an amazing race and just what the doctor ordered after everything we have been through together in recent weeks.

“But I feel really bad for Nico, too; he endured a messy race in a car that didn’t have the pace today, a delayed second pit stop that cost him track position and then found himself stuck behind Alonso for the rest of the race. It was like all his bad luck came on one day and the result was P7. In the first stint we told him to let Lewis pass, as that was our best chance of winning the race at that time. The fact that he did so was the gesture of a great team player.

“But we don’t leave Monaco feeling in any way complacent: Red Bull had the performance this weekend and Montreal and Baku will present some very different challenges for us to tackle. So we need to keep pushing on performance and keep chasing the root causes of the problems we have experienced. For this evening, though, we can also savour a special win for Lewis who was at his very best today.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “We woke up this morning to rain, as predicted. Not having pole position, this was a welcome opportunity to find a way to win the race. As it panned out, we started under the safety car which lost us one opportunity. And then, once the race did get underway, it soon became clear from Nico’s pace that he had a problem.

“We’re still trying to analyse what that was – but the initial signs are that it was related to brake temperatures. It came to the point where we told Nico he would either need to pick up the pace or let Lewis past. One lap later, he hadn’t managed to find that extra pace, so we asked him to move aside – which he did immediately. Great credit to Nico for his team ethic and playing for the overall team result.

“Unfortunately, his pace didn’t recover all afternoon – to the point where he even lost sixth place at the final corner as light rain began to fall once more. We need to look into why that was. Once Lewis was past, he instantly began to stretch away from Nico with pace that was on a par with the leader. Once Daniel pitted for Intermediates, we had a very interesting situation where Lewis was in the lead and we had nothing to lose strategically – thanks to the buffer he had built over Nico in third.

“We gambled on stringing out the stint until the track was sufficiently dry to change to slicks. Fortunately, the wet tyre clung on at a reasonable pace until we made the switch to the UltraSoft and the rest is history! A fantastic job from Lewis to maintain the lead in difficult circumstances with changing conditions, traffic, VSC incidents and all sorts – and credit again to Nico for the way he handled a tough situation.

“A word finally to the strategy team – who did a fantastic job today with a bold but brilliant call for Lewis which played a huge role in the win.”

Großer Preis von Monaco 2016, Sonntag

Großer Preis von Monaco 2016, Sonntag

Monaco qualifying: Mercedes

Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix from second position, with Lewis Hamilton lining up third. A fuel pressure problem on both cars at the beginning of Q3 meant that Rosberg’s first run of the final session was delayed, while Hamilton was forced to stop at the end of the pit lane before being recovered to the garage and re-starting. Both drivers completed two runs in Q1 and Q2, with Rosberg completing two runs and Hamilton a single run in Q3 – all on the UltraSoft tyre.

Nico Rosberg: “I was really surprised when Daniel set his first quick lap in Q3. I thought ‘damn, that was really quick!’ I tried my best to top that and was able to come a bit closer – but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for pole. Red Bull and especially Daniel did a great job here today. Congrats to him on his first pole position – I’m sure it will feel special for him to have got it here in Monaco. But tomorrow there are still a few opportunities for us to win this race.

“At the start, Daniel is on the harder tyre with a lower grip level, so I hope to maybe gain something there. When I was on the harder compound in China, he caught me at the start – so I hope it’s payback time tomorrow and I can overtake him. I’ve been practising starts a lot over the weekend, so it could be exciting. I can’t wait to race again on this amazing track.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s hard to find the words right now. I was the quickest out there today – but unfortunately the problem at the start of Q3 meant I couldn’t use that pace. I did my best with the lap that I had and I’m really pleased with that. My final attempt was what should have been my banker lap, so at least I’m starting third when it could have been tenth. For tomorrow, Red Bull have done something different by putting Daniel on the SuperSoft. I’m not sure how that will play out – but the compounds are pretty similar so I don’t think being on the UltraSoft will give us an edge at the start.

“If Daniel can get into Turn One ahead he just has to sit there, make his car as wide as possible and make those tyres last while we’re all battling away scrubbing our tyres behind him, as it’s almost impossible to overtake here. Even the softest tyres are pretty hard, so it should be an easy one-stop strategy if it stays dry, which makes it tougher. Hopefully we’ll have some rain to mix things up a bit. The last time I started third here was in 2008 and I won that race. Starting from there I thought my chance was gone before I’d begun – but in the end it was a great race, so let’s see. Anything can happen.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was a messy session for us and we certainly didn’t get everything out of it that we could have done. But that doesn’t take anything away from Daniel’s performance. He was blindingly fast on Thursday and again today – well done to him on his first pole. We had a smooth session until Q3 when both cars suffered a fuel pressure problem just before their first runs. With Nico, we held him in the garage and this delayed him getting out on track, putting him out of sync with other cars.

“For Lewis, it happened in the pit lane, so we told him to stop, recovered the car and had to adapt our programme. That meant Lewis only had time to make one run in Q3 – so he didn’t have a banker lap time in place and we extended the final run so he could do two flying laps. All of those were compromises on his ultimate performance, so P3 was a great piece of damage limitation in the end. Nico did a great job to take P2 and made a good step between his two runs – but ultimately it wasn’t enough for pole.

“Now we need to look ahead to the race. If it stays dry and Ricciardo gets off the line well, then he will be very hard to beat because track position is everything here. But if it rains, as the forecast suggests it might, then we could be in for a very eventful afternoon – and there will be opportunities for us to take advantage of.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “A very tense qualifying session. We could see from FP3 that it was going to be close between ourselves, Red Bull and Ferrari. As it transpired, the balance swung between the three teams – with Sebastian quickest in Q1, Nico and Lewis in Q2 and Daniel ultimately taking pole in Q3. Our programme ran well until the beginning of Q3, when we experienced a fuel pressure problem on both cars – delaying Nico’s first run and unfortunately costing Lewis one of his two planned runs entirely.

“We eventually sent Lewis out with enough fuel to attempt two timed laps and he did a great job to recover third position with what became a single timed lap. Both drivers performed well throughout and we’ve been left wondering whether pole was a possibility with a smoother session. But our attention now turns to tomorrow’s race. It won’t be straightforward – but there are still possibilities to get the win and we’ll be working hard overnight to see where we can make the difference.”

Devastating day for Mercedes: team’s verdicts



Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both failed to finish the 2016 Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a collision on the 1st lap. Stewards have ruled no further action will be taken against either driver after it was deemed a racing incident. Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers’ Championship by 39 points while Lewis Hamilton is in P3. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (P1) lead Ferrari (P2) by 48 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

So, what happened then boys?

Lewis Hamilton:
“I had a decent start from pole but got slipstreamed on the way to the first corner and lost the lead. Coming out of turn three, I was catching Nico really quickly and went for the gap on the right – I had part of my car alongside but then had to take to the grass. The gap was there and, if you’re a racing driver, you go for that gap. We saw what happened after that.

“I’m hurt and disappointed for the team most of all because we lost 43 points today. We’re all here working together towards the same result and the team give me the opportunity to race with the work they do. When I came to a stop in the gravel trap, all I could think about was how gutted I was for the team – that’s where I feel the pain. But we will move on together and come back stronger in Monaco.”

Nico Rosberg:
“I had a great start and I was ecstatic after passing Lewis around the outside of turn one. At that point, it was my race to win. I came out of turn three and realised I was down on power with the wrong mode selected due to the engine mode switch being in the incorrect position. Lewis was closing in, so I decided to make a clear move to the right hand side as soon as possible, to close the door and show him that wasn’t an option. I was very surprised that Lewis went for the inside anyway. The next thing I knew, we were in the gravel trap. I’m gutted, not just for myself but for the whole team, it’s the worst feeling as a driver.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“After all the hard work we’ve put in over the past two weeks it’s deeply disappointing to come away with no points, but in my opinion this was a racing incident, with the drivers racing for position, and I don’t want to start blaming one or the other. Both Lewis and Nico are upset and we talked with them, looking at the pictures and the data, to determine exactly what happened. By letting the drivers race as we do, this kind of eventuality can happen but we won’t change our approach – we owe it to Formula One and the fans to let them race.

“But today, it was the work of the whole team that finished in the gravel trap, and this isn’t what we want to see happen – both of the boys know how much hard work goes into each race weekend and that they have the responsibility to bring that home. We have matured as a team over the past years, so we will be able to move on from this and, hopefully, fight back in a positive way in Monaco.

“I want to add a word for Max, too; on a bad day for us, he sprinkled a bit of magic on the sport, so big congratulations to him on what I’m sure is only the first of his Grand Prix wins.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical):
First of all, congratulations to Max Verstappen. It’s a tremendous story for Formula One. It was a very short race for us today and it was a huge disappointment for the team, especially to lose both cars in such dramatic fashion. It’s hard to take, especially given the amount of hard work prior to this weekend to solve a number of reliability risks and to bring the level of performance to the car that was witnessed in qualifying.

“It was a dominant front-row lockout and we were looking forward to a great race. We pride ourselves on allowing both our drivers to race, and race to the limit and that involves some tough manoeuvres from both Lewis and Nico and they sometimes won’t work out as we saw today. The stewards have ruled for no further action against either of our drivers. Most importantly we head to Monaco stronger and in better shape to continue in our quest for the 2016 Championships.”



A “magic lap from Lewis”



Lewis Hamilton today claimed his 52nd career pole position. Nico Rosberg completed a Mercedes front row lock-out with a time of 1:22:280. Hamilton’s pole time of 1:22.000 was 2.681 seconds faster than the 2015 pole. Both drivers completed one run in Q1 (soft) and Q2 (soft) and two runs in Q3 (soft).

Lewis Hamilton:
“That felt great today to finally put the lap together, I’m very very happy. You always need to put that performance in, it reassures your belief, and Nico had been so fast this weekend, sometimes two tenths quicker, sometimes more. I could see on my data where I was losing, so I had to try and figure it out on track, and it is so satisfying to attack that obstacle and get through it.

“I am really grateful to the team for working hard overnight to put the car in the right place for me to fight – and now it’s three poles from three for me when I’ve been able to do the laps in qualifying. I haven’t had a proper race with Nico yet this year so I am hoping that will start tomorrow. It’s very hard to overtake here, so strategy is important, as is looking after the tyres: the forces round this circuit means it just eats the tyres up, so you need to get that balance just right and see it through to the finish.”

Nico Rosberg:
“Lewis did the better job today but tomorrow is when it really counts. There is a big opportunity for me at the beginning: I had some good starts this year and Lewis hasn’t led into the first corner this season so far. Maybe in the race there will be an opportunity. Tyre usage will also play a factor and the right strategy will be crucial. So I’m expecting a pretty interesting race and I’m looking forward to the battle. We need to keep eye on Red Bull as well, as they are surprisingly stronger than Ferrari here.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“After the problems we had in the last two qualifying sessions, it was great to get both cars to the end of the session today – and to see the drivers put them on the front row. It was a magic lap from Lewis. He’s struggled with the set-up this weekend but worked with the engineering team to get the car where he wanted it, and delivered at the right moment. I’m very pleased for him.

“As for Nico, he’s second on the grid but it looked like he had something in his pocket in Q2, so his tyres might be a little fresher for the race start – and we will see if that makes a difference tomorrow afternoon. I’m expecting a tough race, a big battle between our boys and a challenge from the guys behind us on the grid. We must make sure we do our job and give the drivers reliable equipment, then see how the race unfolds.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical):
“First of all, well done to all our colleagues at Brixworth whose hard work and expertise over the past weeks has got us through the weekend reliably so far. Our aerodynamic upgrade package is also working well, which is a good confirmation that our development rate remains high and competitive.

“But we have had some difficult qualifying sessions recently, so it is a weight off our shoulders to have enjoyed a trouble-free session today in Barcelona – and it was a privilege to watch the battle between our two drivers performing at their very best. Congratulations to Lewis on his third pole of the season; he put in a tremendous performance during all three sessions and, at one point, was on course for a time in the 1:21 bracket. Well done to Nico, as well; he delivered some great laps to take our first all-Mercedes front row since Bahrain. Our focus now turns to tomorrow’s race. We will need good starts, given the difficulty of overtaking at this circuit, and we expect a challenging race in terms of strategy with plenty of opportunities to take advantage. We want to make sure our long-run performance is on the same level as we showed over a single lap today.”



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