Migen wrote:Had Kimi managed a better 1st stint (like Vettel in Australia) and had a VSC occurred in a more opportune moment (like it happen for Vettel in Australia), Kimi could have ended up winning the race (just like Vettel in Australia) and this thread polluted with bullcrap would not exist at all.
Reading some of the comments in this thread (and the race-day thread too), someone new to F1 and/or this forum will be lead into thinking that Scuderia Ferrari exist for the sole purpose to make Vettel look good over his team mate (and Haas too has a hand in it apparently)... the worrying (but not surprising anymore, I recall the Red Bull years) thing is that some fans that know F1 quite well, seem to genuinely believe that.
Its not the 1st time, and I doubt it will be the last time that Ferrari strategies in hindsight were not optimal (for both of their drivers).
I believe that had the roles between Vettel and Kimi in the last race been reversed, its very likely that Ferrari would have done exactly the same thing in order to have a better chance to overtake Bottas which would have secured them the win (assuming no VSC or SC occurred after).
The victory is always worth more than the few points it may cost to the driver running virtually 3rd and I hope Ferrari plays the same card again if a similar situation arises, be it for the detriment/benefit of my fav driver Vettel or Kimi... its simply the wiser thing to do.
Just like what Mercedes did in Spain last season or what Ferrari did in Austria 2016 which can be interpreted as if Vettel was being sacrificed in 30 laps old tires until they exploded, just so he could obstruct Rosberg & Hamilton for the benefit of Kimi running 4th at the time.
I am sorry but your understanding of how those races unfolded is really poor.
1)Kimi did manage his stint very well in China actually. The three laps before Vettel pitted he posted two 39.5's and 39.4's. The 8 laps Kimi did after that whilst staying out were in the 39.1's 39.2's, 39.3's. He was not slow at all. He was posting great times, it was just the new medium was worth 2 seconds per lap over his old soft so everybody reeled him in.
2) Vettel was able to win Australia because when Hamilton and Kimi came out on there new tyres the didn't push hard because the tyres had to do 40 laps and the new medium wasn't worth as much vs the old tyre. Hamilton and Raikkonen also needed to save tyres for if Vettel came at them at the end on fresh rubber. Hamilton just pushed enough get the gap to safe enough for a VSC. Problem is, Mercedes miscalculated that.
Furthermore. Before Kimi pitted in Australia he posted a 28.4, 27.9 and 28.2... when Vettel contined on after him his times were in the 28.5's and into the 29's at the end of the stint. So in China, when Kimi continued on he was quicker than Vettel just before he pitted. In Australia, Vettel when he continued was slower than the times Kimi was setting before pitting.
In Australia Vettel in 3rd was 4 seconds off the 2nd placed car (Kimi) when the pit windows arrived and thats probably just 1 - 1.5 seconds more than what Vettel would have wanted considering the negative effect if you run a whole stint very close to car in front, whilst in China Kimi had lost 8.7 seconds to Bottas running ahead of him when the pit windows arrived and that gap is probably 5.5 - 6 seconds more than the necessary safe distance of avoiding the negative effect from the car in front.
Whether you take 4 and 8.7 seconds or the 1.5 and 6 seconds... there`s a considerable difference on how Vettel(in Australia) and Kimi (in China) managed their 1st stints.
Any car that takes the 1st 10 - 15 laps much easier (by loosing a lot more grounds to the cars in front nu-necessarily) will usually be able to finish the stint "strongly" cause it usually has the tires in better shape for the final part of that stint... so whichever way you look at it, Kimi's 1st stint until the point that the pit windows opened, could or should have been better.
And if he managed the stint better, a VSC within few laps after Bottas/Vettel had stopped, MAY have catapulted Kimi in front... its not really rocket-science.
Actually, the fact that he dropped so much time to the guys in front for the 1st 15 laps, at a time where the following laps sort of proved that he could have kept pace with Bottas/Vettel, tells me that Kimi probably knew all along that he was going for a longer stint.
Even if this wasnt Kimi decision (although He may have had a say in it because the possible race strategies templates are discussed and set prior to the race with the input of the driver too, covering any possible drop/gains of position on the start of the race), it was Kimi's lack of pace for the opening 15 laps which forced Ferrari into trying something different, a longer stint for Kimi.
Of course Ferrari tried to exploit it for the benefit of securing the win too, but the instigator was Kimi himself, his own race pace. If you think Mercedes or other teams wound not exploit the same possibilities, you`re deluded.