F1 Racing - - “ONE RACE AT A TIME” -

On pa­per, this is Ros­berg’s best sea­son so far against Hamil­ton. Af­ter Ja­pan, he had nine wins to Hamil­ton’s six, while in 2015 and 2014 it was 10-6 and 11-5 in Hamil­ton’s favour. But sta­tis­tics can be mis­lead­ing. Of those nine wins, only ve were achieved when both started to­gether on the front row and nished – Aus­tralia, Bahrain, Italy, Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan. That’s 55.6 per cent of Ros­berg’s wins oc­cur­ring in gen­uine com­pe­ti­tion. Three of those ve (60 per cent) were due to bad starts for Hamil­ton. His other wins came when Hamil­ton was taken out of the equa­tion.

By con­trast, Hamil­ton has beaten Ros­berg six times on the same ba­sis, in Monaco, Canada, Aus­tria, Sil­ver­stone, Hun­gary and Ger­many. That’s 100 per cent of Hamil­ton’s wins oc­cur­ring in gen­uine com­pe­ti­tion. Only two of those six (33 per cent) were down to bad starts for Ros­berg.

It is a driver’s job to get his car off the line, but starts also inuence the cham­pi­onship. Hamil­ton had six bad starts that af­fected re­sults (Aus­tralia, Bahrain, Canada, Monza and Ja­pan); Ros­berg three (Aus­tria, Hun­gary, Ger­many). In each case, one (Canada for Hamil­ton; Aus­tria for Ros­berg) did not neg­a­tively af­fect ei­ther driver’s race.

Then there’s qual­i­fy­ing. Hamil­ton and Ros­berg set eight poles each this year. In 2015 it was 11-7 to Hamil­ton and in 2014 11-7 to Ros­berg, although the lat­ter was more like eight-seven if you dis­re­gard Ger­many and Hun­gary, where Hamil­ton had tech­ni­cal fail­ures, and Monaco, where Ros­berg had his ‘off’ at Mirabeau.

The key mea­sure­ment of pace is the av­er­age qual­i­fy­ing gap be­tween the two. If you take the ses­sions where both can be com­pared, Hamil­ton has been faster in all three sea­sons, and his ad­van­tage has grown with time. In 2014, Hamil­ton’s gap was 0.086 sec­onds; in 2015, 0.14s; and in 2016, 0.162s*

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