The Pecking Order Going Into Europe


We've seen four races with three different winners and Vettel and Red Bull taking the initiative in the championship but I think Ferrari and Lotus are certainly not far behind. I see the pecking order as:

1. Red Bull - They started off behind in Oz but apart from that they have been very impressive. I think the strategy in China was wrong and Or else they would have been on the podium in every race so far.

2. Ferrari - They not far behind but a mistake and bad luck has seen them drop back in the championships, but it will be interesting to see if they can challenge Vettel at the front.

=. Lotus - Apart from a slip in Malaysia they have been very consistent. They are very quick at the end of each stint so even though they may not have the raw speed of the Red Bull, their end of stint pace brings them right up there.

3. Force India - I know many will not agree but this car is fast and good on its tyres. I I think Hulk must be kicking himself.

4. Mercedes - This car is one of the fastest in my opinion but raw speed counts for nothing if your slow at the end of the stint. Maybe Bahrain was freak occurance but they were appalling.

5. Mclaren - They are not as quick as the others and their car and/or drivers are very inconsistent. How Button went from a brilliant 2 stop in China to a terrible 4 stop in Bahrain I do not know. Saying that Perez beat Rosberg and started and finished right behind Hamilton to show they are improving.
I would say Red Bull and Ferrari are evenly matched as the best overall package, Lotus are a bit behind them due to poor qualifying form and Mercedes are a bit behind Lotus due to tyre management issues. Then Force India 4th a bit behind Mercedes on race pace (Rosberg in Bahrain aside) and behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari in qualifying. McLaren 5th but closing the gap.

I really don't think you can place Force India above Mercedes, both teams have had various reliability and other issues and yet a quick glance at the constructors championship will show you that Mercedes have more than double the points so far.
I would agree that RB And Ferrari are evenly matched at this point. I would say that Merc and Lotus are equals, one step behind the aforementioned teams. Lotus appears easier on the tyres which may be why they lag the Mercs in qualifying pace. Whether the difference is down to chassis tuning or drivers, I don't know.

I think the last race actually flattered the Force India, and that they are no better than the McLarens at the present time.
I agree fully with your order. Ferrari and Red Bull are probably even in terms of performance, but results speak louder so RB gets the edge. Ferrari needs some really strong finisheses coming up. Lotus needs to find qualy pace. These three teams will be very close all season - it's gonna be fun
well on the cooler european tracks merc should be pretty strong,because they shouldnt struggle so much with the rears for that reason,and considering lewis is strong on these tracks,i expect merc to get some strong points and stay in the mix.
i still think ferrari have the best package atm,followed closely by redbull,then lotus and merc come after that.
but the upgrades expected may change things.also the changes in the tyres that may happen could change the pecking order too.
If Mercedes can sort their rear tyre wear I think they'll be with the Bulls and the Ferrari, but that's a big IF and also a WHEN. I also wonder about the Merc whether its to do with the weight of the car? Both drivers are good in quali and have generally struggled at the beginning of the race but come on strong at the end.
Assuming they don't sort it out. I think at present it's
Red Bull/ Ferrari. Even Stevens.....Alonso has made an error and they've been unfortunate. Seb can make mistakes so on the car I think they're even.
Lotus- I'd put them third at the moment, but it's a tentative third reliant on their good use of tyres. If the other teams behind them improve on the tyres they may drop back..
Mercedes- I'd put them ahead of Force India. Bahrain was a bad 'un but I think generally they're ahead
Force India
McLaren. I could talk for hours but I'd better not. If they sort the car, Button will drive it well and they will move further up the field. If the don't sort the car Checo will be faster than button and there will be political shenanegins.
I think that the Mercedes are slightly behind, and tyre wear is part of the issue, although track characteristics and temperature may be peculiar to Bahrain. Their ability to keep the car development moving at pace is going to be key.

Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be duking it out at the moment, although I do not expect them to get it all their own way, I get the feeling that there have already been incidents which will decide the title, one for Red Bull, and one for Ferrari, but I may be wrong.

Lotus, again, as mercedes, they have some work to do, but they should be there or thereabouts. Again development is key

McLaren, I feel that they will win races, but they are already out of the title race.

McLaren. I could talk for hours but I'd better not. If they sort the car, Button will drive it well and they will move further up the field. If the don't sort the car Checo will be faster than button and there will be political shenanegins.

4 races in, 3/1 to Button. I expect Checo to improve, Button too, but I find your assertion amusing!
Qualifying: 1 Mercedes = RBR
3 Ferrari
4 Lotus
Race 1 Ferrari = RBR = Lotus
4 Mercedes
5 McLaren = FI
7 Sauber = STR
9 Williams
10 Marussia = Caterham
The Pits LOL yes, I can see how that looks a strange thing to say when you point out the 3-1 score. My reasoning was Checo has been new to the team and took a while to settle in. So the early races Button had the upper hand. If the car remains a handful and difficult to set up I think Checo will do better at driving round the issues and setting it up, Button wont like that, hence the political shenanigins.If it comes good, well balanced and easy to drive, then Button will again have the upper hand. I think...maybe..just an opinion.
I've got the figures here for how the top teams are performing points wise compared to this time last year.

Lotus are up 36

Merc are up 27 ( and I believe that this time last Year they had Nicco's win to help the scores, so maybe that score's better than it looks)

Ferrari up 32 ( thanks I think to Massa getting back in the groove)

RB up 8 ( so pretty stable really but with three teams behind them on the move)

McLaren down 69. ( that does look shocking- they may pull it round if they realise the cars potential, and if Sergio isn't leashed, and Jenson sorts out his rear tyre wear and set up....but I think the titles have already gone....could be wrong of course)
Further to my previous post , I thought these statistics were interesting, especially when viewed alongside the statistics of the teams.
These statistics show how the drivers in the top teams scores differ this year to last year.
Rosberg -21
Hamilton +1
Alonso +4
Vettel + 24
maasa +28
Raikonnen +33

I guess it doesn't really tell us anything we don't know, more confirms things really. I was initially surprised to see Roseberg down so much, but the win last year and two failures this year, so not really unexpected. Makes Mercedes look stronger I think, that they've still made gain on last year by a lot.
Huge improvement from Massa and Kimi clearly outperforming Grosjean so far.

Only four races but interesting patterns developing.
Have Mercedes improved, or has lewis made the difference? Don't forget that by this time last year, they had won a race, and Michaels reliability was similar to Nico's.
For me, Ferrari minus its mistakes is on a par with Red Bull. Lotus is next up. Merc is much faster than lotus but we all know that enstone has a much better grip of the tyres than brackley. If Merc could fix its tyre issues, it would be close the front two, but history is not on their side.

That leaves McLaren. Right now, you would have to say they were also behind Force India, reliability aside. But can McLaren do what Ferrari did last year with what may well be the same set of suspension related problems? If they can, then they will be up there with Lotus.

The problem for Lotus might be that they don't have such a big issue to fix that could gain them 1s per lap like McLaren seem to. They can only go forward in smaller steps. They need to find a bit more qualifying pace, without losing their long run pace to catch the top two.
Difficult with Mercedes. I'd say a bit of both, improvement and Lewis making a difference. Yes they had the win last year but the fact that this year they're 27 points up without a win suggests they're generally better placed to score.

On Ferrari and Red Bull. I'd actually put Ferrari ahead based on those figures. RedBull as a team are similar to last year but Vettel has scored more and Webber less, so the points have more or less just been redistributed within the team. Ferrari are up by a lot with Massa scoring a lot better and Alonso similar to last year. But Alonso has had a mistake and had a failure which have seriously compromised his points score, without that Ferrari would be much further up the points score. And last year Alonso was still in the title fight at the end. I'd say Ferrari look very good for constructors if Massa stays good and Alonso strong for the title.
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