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2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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The numbers say otherwise. 
If we're going to talk about numbers here, consider that the average gap between Hamilton and Rosberg's pole times (barring any anomalies, such as Italy where Rosberg had the old power unit) this year so far is roughly 2 tenths. Also consider that the largest gap between the two at the finish line was 18.964 in Hamilton's favour, at Japan. The second largest is 17.551, in Rosberg's favour, at Spain. Make of that what you will.

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That is a very selective choice of numbers, but whatever. What matters isn't the biggest gap between these two in a race, it's the overall result at the end of he championship and the way it was achieved. Lewis outqualified and outraced Nico in 2013 despite having issues with the W04's braking, he outraced Rosberg clearly in 2014 and in 2015 he got his quali-mojo back and destroyed Nico there while maintaining his advantage in terms of racepace. 

There's nothing to suggest to me that they're as close as you make it out to be. Being close to someone pacewise loses its importance if that "closeness" still leads to your teammate beating you 12 times in 14 attempts. 

I remember many ex-drivers claiming that the difference between the best and worst of the drivers to be taken seriously (therefore discounting someone like Yuji Ide or similar embarassments) is mostly less than half a second. All of a sudden, your average gap of 2 tenths looks to be a serious gap, no? ;)

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(Quoting system is just as clumsy as it was last year. Nice.)

"What matters isn't the biggest gap between these two in a race, it's the overall result at the end of he championship and the way it was achieved."

I'm confused by this sentence, actually. You say the gaps don't matter, yet you claim numbers are significant enough to determine how much better someone is. No one can deny that they matter, but it has to be something more than that, the stuff behind the numbers. Which if you look behind the numbers, Hamiltion didn't exactly dominate Rosberg last year. He's been beating him much more convincingly this year, absolutely, but Nico's been right behind him all the way for most of it. This, however, also puts doubt over the part where you talk about "the way it was achieved" - Lewis achieved his results, but he certainly had to fight for it.

"There's nothing to suggest to me that they're as close as you make it out to be. Being close to someone pacewise loses its importance if that "closeness" still leads to your teammate beating you 12 times in 14 attempts."

That's what I've been talking about though - Lewis is just that little bit better and is a more complete driver than Rosberg. Lewis is a better driver than Rosberg, of that there is no doubt, but I cannot for the life of me see how you can argue that he's miles better when they're so closely matched in the races.

"I remember many ex-drivers claiming that the difference between the best and worst of the drivers to be taken seriously (therefore discounting someone like Yuji Ide or similar embarassments) is mostly less than half a second. All of a sudden, your average gap of 2 tenths looks to be a serious gap, no?"

I'm not really sure what you mean by this to be honest. Two tenths in the same car is not a serious gap unless we're talking IndyCar racing or whatever.

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Hughesy said:
Can't believe @RevolvingPrawn and I didn't have the race result ruined whilst out at Silverstone yesterday. We thought we'd hear someone talking about it, but luckily we didn't. I don't feel Hamilton did anything wrong, Rosberg knew he would run out of road so should have backed out earlier. Unless Hamilton gets reliability problems I can't see Rosberg catching him, he's just not on the same level. I'd love to see Vettel finish P2 in the championship.
Indeed I think Hamilton's got it all but nailed down now. 1 more win for him and I'd say it's over. He needs to have a bad end of the season really for anyone to have a chance to take it off him.

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.I'm confused by this sentence, actually. You say the gaps don't matter, yet you claim numbers are significant enough to determine how much better someone is. No one can deny that they matter, but it has to be something more than that, the stuff behind the numbers. Which if you look behind the numbers, Hamiltion didn't exactly dominate Rosberg last year. He's been beating him much more convincingly this year, absolutely, but Nico's been right behind him all the way for most of it. This, however, also puts doubt over the part where you talk about "the way it was achieved" - Lewis achieved his results, but he certainly had to fight for it.

First of all, when I said gaps do not matter (I never said it exactly that way btw), I meant your example of Nico finishing 17secs ahead of Hamilton in Spain and Lewis finishing 20 secs ahead in Japan. In a time when flatout-racing is a no-no and you have to nurse your tires most of the time while keeping your fuel in balance and saving the engine as much as you can due to the low number of power-units available throughout a season, I wouldn't read too much into gaps at the end of a race. Let's take Melbourne for example: Nico finished just a second behind Lewis, but he was never close enough to give it a serious go given that Hamilton had him under control and was just keeping him off the DRS-window because that was all he needed to do. Same goes for Canada. These races might not have looked to be dominated by any of those two if you just look at the gap, but it was clear as day that Lewis was in a commanding position and just playing with Nico. 

Secondly, imho, Lewis did dominate Rosberg last year aswell, but up until Singapore he was on the receiving end of bad luck which made Rosberg look better than his actual performance. The DNF at Melbourne alone meant that Lewis had to win the next 4 races in a row to overcome that deficit. You could argue that Canada was Hamilton's fault, but then the two qualifying-ending issues in Germany and Hungary weren't. Same goes for Spa. Nico did a better job in qualifying, but the score of 12-7 doesn't fully reflect that because we will never know where Lewis might have qualified at Hungary and Germany and what would have happened if Nico didn't che...I mean commit a mistake in Monaco when it mattered the most. Race-wise, Lewis was one league above Nico in 2014 already. Prime-example being Bahrain, when Nico couldn't get past Lewis on softer tires. Not to mention all those races where Lewis managed to overtake Nico on track despite starting behind him. 

That's what I've been talking about though - Lewis is just that little bit better and is a more complete driver than Rosberg. Lewis is a better driver than Rosberg, of that there is no doubt, but I cannot for the life of me see how you can argue that he's miles better when they're so closely matched in the races

See the first part of my comment above.

I'm not really sure what you mean by this to be honest. Two tenths in the same car is not a serious gap unless we're talking IndyCar racing or whatever.

I don't see what's so hard to understand about that. You made it sound as if a gap of 2 tenths is nothing. If we assume that the gap between the best and worst driver on the grid isn't bigger than 5 tenths, those 2 tenths do suddenly look a lot bigger in contrast. In other words: Within a spectrum of +/- 5 tenths those 2 tenths you're talking about make Rosberg look like an average driver. 
Am I being serious now? Nope. Just playing around with numbers to prove my point to the extreme. The same way as you did, just in favour of Rosberg. ;)

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