Author Topic: Mercedes and the 'fine art' of grand prix qualifying  (Read 214 times)


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Mercedes and the 'fine art' of grand prix qualifying
« on: October 13, 2017, 04:21:40 AM »
Of all Lewis Hamilton's many skills as a Formula 1 driver, this is one talent he has really made his own.Race after race, Hamilton redefines the boundaries of the possible with those flat-out laps that decide the grid order - and quite often the race victory, too.It is a moment when the essence of a grand prix weekend is distilled into 90 seconds of purity - the quickest cars on earth, and 20 men driving as fast as is humanly possible.

"It's shorter," Hamilton says. "It's intense. It's enthused with so much energy. The pressure is at the utmost. You go out, and you have that one lap to perfect and deliver. I love that challenge.
"It is the ultimate performance, putting all the pieces of the performance together and I have always loved that. That's when you attack. It's when you really go into battle. The car is light, it is the fastest you get to drive at any point in any weekend and it all comes Earnest Byner Jersey down to that one moment and the decisions you make and I love it."
In a sport where margins are measured to the thousandth of a second, Hamilton is frequently several tenths quicker than other drivers - even ones with the same car.Ten poles in 16 races this season, a year when Mercedes have faced real opposition for the first time since 2014, tells its own story.These are Authentic Willie McGee Jersey laps that make the jaw drop, that generate awe and admiration, even among his rivals.
But they are not just down to Hamilton alone.A qualifying lap is the culmination of all the work an F1 team puts into the weekend, and the driver could not do it without the people behind him.So how does Hamilton do it? BBC Sport took a deep dive behind the scenes at his Mercedes team to find out.Hamilton describes himself as "really just a small chink in the chain of a large number of people who make it possible".It is not false modesty - it's a statement of fact. But Shaquille O'Neal Jersey it is undeniable that it would not be possible without the ability of the man in the car.
Mercedes technical director James Allison has worked with all three of F1's current multiple world champions and describes Hamilton as "a magnificently quick driver".
How quick? Well, in 10 years of F1 Hamilton has had five team-mates. In terms of championship points, Fernando Alonso has equalled him (in 2007), and Jenson Button (2011) and Nico Rosberg (2016) have narrowly beaten him in the title standings once, even if there were extenuating circumstances each time.
But in raw qualifying pace - taking an average of their speed over a season on quickest laps where a comparison is possible - no-one has ever been faster.
"In the races we could have some great battles," says Button, Hamilton's team-mate at McLaren between 2010 and 2012.
"He'd win a race, I'd win a race, and it was really close between us. But when it came to qualifying, it wasn't. He was just immense."