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2018 Chinese GP


Birkhoff

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It is interesting. the closest we've had a practice session so far, but the conditions were a bit extreme today which might have played into it. I expect the gaps to widen by tomorrow as the teams go back to the hotels and ponder over all the data aovernight. 
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You can sit on your high horse all you want but the fact is after testing and Melbourne the pessimism was perfectly justified given the performance delta, and you and everyone else on this forum would've put money on Hamilton winning in Bahrain.

What's happened since to strengthen your Ferrari argument is nothing but blind luck on your behalf, and in F1 terms is damn near unprecedented in the modern era. In the space of 3 weeks with zero updates to the car the Ferrari has gained a net 1.2 seconds on the Mercedes in qualifying trim. That's unbelievable and not a usual occurrence any way you cut it and a lot of it is down to the tyres. I figure Mercedes will be on top of that sooner rather than later. 



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Hughesy said:
So how long are Ferrari fans going to keep doubting Ferrari's pace? Looking a bit silly saying Mercedes were going to walk it after just two practices sessions at Australia.
Mercedes were best all weekend though, and they were better all throughout testing according to many leading journalists. 

Obviously I'm very happy that it's proven false an that thus far, my predictions were wrong. But the third race hasn't even started yet, so we will wait and see. Mercedes lost Australia on luck and only lost Bahrain due to their own mistakes (Not telling Bottas to push sooner) and an excellent performance from Vettel. It could easily be 2 Mercedes victories right now and arguably should be, it's fair to say Vettel has stolen those wins from under their noses. If Mercedes manage to win tomorrow on pace, suddenly it would paint a very different picture for the rest of the season. 
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"But the third race hasn't even started yet, so we will wait and see."

So it's ok to say the season is over after 2 practice sessions, but not judge the speed of the Ferrari after 2 races.

I'm not "on a high horse" I said at the time it was a massive overreaction to say Mercedes were going to walk the championship, and thats what its proven to be, a massive overreaction.
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Hughesy said:
"But the third race hasn't even started yet, so we will wait and see."

So it's ok to say the season is over after 2 practice sessions, but not judge the speed of the Ferrari after 2 races.

I'm not "on a high horse" I said at the time it was a massive overreaction to say Mercedes were going to walk the championship, and thats what its proven to be, a massive overreaction.
Who said it was over after 2 practice sessions? 

Personally I said Mercedes were probably going to win after Quali, and that wasn't only because of that one session, but backed up by every season since 2014. And their subsequent race pace hardly disproved what I'd said. We've still yet to see a dominant Ferrari win, Bahrain may well have been on the same strategy but we couldn't say for sure. Maybe Vettel's only shot of victory was on the softs, perhaps on the medium he would have been too slow...
 
It was probably still a silly thing to say so early, but then many people are desperate for an interesting season and a different champion, obviously.You wait all winter praying for a closer season and then that happens, people were understandably annoyed. 

 Still I think the difference between me writing off the season after 1 race and me saying "Lets wait and see if Ferrari are good enough" is that we are all by default considering Mercedes the favourites, and you don't lose that status after 2 or 3 races - they've won 4 titles in a row, you cannot rule out a team of that quality turning it around quickly and destroying our hopes. So we need to wait and see if Ferrari are the real deal - lets see the next 3 or 4 races and then we can judge were everyone is more accurately. As I said, 1 demonstration of speed from Mercedes isn't a reason to write everyone else off, but you can understand why it was said, no?  
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Well @VetteIfan gave up even before Australia

 
- Congratulations Lewi5. In fact L6wis, and Lew7s. Starting to become convinced the Mercedes engine just won't be touched till the rule change in 2021. 


- RB and Ferrari pretty close but both even further behind Mercedes.

I totally get the scepticism because Mercedes have dominated for so long, but it was too quick to judge.
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Hughesy said:
I'm not "on a high horse" I said at the time it was a massive overreaction to say Mercedes were going to walk the championship, and thats what its proven to be, a massive overreaction.
You must've had trouble reading my first post so I'll try to repeat again in simpler terms.

Any pessimism I or anyone else has had was based on real performance and general feeling from testing and Australia and was well justified at the time of speaking. Vettel himself stated they were generally 4 tenths down and even the most cautious Mercedes/Lewis fan at least secretly shared the same view given the performance differential in the first race.

Meanwhile you blindly vouched for Ferrari and yeah they do have a monster car on their day, but don't go claiming credit for that or undermine others previous viewpoints when you just lucked in to being right. There was absolutely no logical reason to believe at the time Ferrari would be anywhere near Mercedes in Bahrain or China. 
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Finally the Ferrari are back ( yes , I am  fan of the horse and Italian), at least I do not do more the ball knowing already the result of the race... We hope only does not end as last year, with the Asian triptych unfortunate and disastrous
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Congratulations to V5ttt5l on winning his 5th WDC this season, the first one for Ferrari. ;)

In all seriousness, this has "Vettel 2018 WDC" written all over it. I reckon Ferrari just screwed up their setup in Melbourne which skewed the picture. This and Lewis in ace-form in Q3 on his second lap. Mercedes might have slightly better tyre wear towards the end of a stint, but that's nothing to count on in a formula where overtaking is almost impossible and grid position is 70% of the end result.

Oh yeah, f*ck Pirelli.
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Another great qualifying though. I love the swapping of lap records.

I feel bad for Kimi though. Two weeks in a row he was clear of Vettel after the first run. This week he even improves on his second run, only to have Vettel come around and top it. But this really should silence the few critics that Kimi doesn't have what it takes anymore, he's still close enough to Vettel, just has had a bit of bad luck in the races. 

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This is the first time since the engine rule changes that Ferrari seemingly has an edge on Mercedes, which is shocking after they were projected to be behind Red Bull, who right now hates their life. That is promising, but it can switch so easily, I'm not counting eggs before they hatch.

Kimi messed up his final sector or it would've been a certain pole for him. Also, Bottas again faster than Hamilton, that's remarkable. Maybe I missed something in terms of strategy.

Also, Red Bull sucks right now, so we kind of need Max to not be an idiot this time.
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Jiggy said:
This is the first time since the engine rule changes that Ferrari seemingly has an edge on Mercedes, which is shocking after they were projected to be behind Red Bull, who right now hates their life. That is promising, but it can switch so easily, I'm not counting eggs before they hatch.

Kimi messed up his final sector or it would've been a certain pole for him. Also, Bottas again faster than Hamilton, that's remarkable. Maybe I missed something in terms of strategy.

Also, Red Bull sucks right now, so we kind of need Max to not be an idiot this time.
Yeah I agree, no one really expected all of this. This is what F1 needs because power units are all so similar in performance which is really interesting. The next thing that needs to happen is minimizing dirty air so following cars is easier
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Now now, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Ferrari's pace looks great, but one of their biggest weaknesses this past few years have been their upgrade rate over the season. They need to nail that against a team like Mercedes. same goes for reliability. Which is why I still expect a Mercedes driver on top at the end of the year.

That beings said.

If the Scuderia really does take home the championship, you can bet your ass I'll be crapping down my father's chimney, a devoted Merc and Lewis fan, waving my Ferrari flag.
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And Ferrari is back to their dumb selves, botched a strategy, Bottas overtakes Vettel via the undercut and now they're keeping Kimi out just to slow down Bottas in the hopes Vettel can take 1st place back. That of course allows Hamilton to gain a spot and kills whatever good result Raikkonen could've had.
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