The Extent of Hamilton’s Testing Deficit

Following another 117 laps recorded by Nico Rosberg in this week’s in-season test at Spielberg, the German has surpassed the 1000 test lap mark for 2015. Meanwhile, teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton continues to lag behind in the mileage stakes and given the intensity of the title fight, each and every advantage, regardless of the scale, could potentially prove pivotal in the final assessment.

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The Key Statistics?

In terms of testing mileage, Rosberg’s 1023 laps dwarf Hamilton’s 533. However the disparity is unsurprising given that the Briton has missed both in-season tests so far this season. Having been scheduled to run in Austria, Hamilton is said to have asked to be excused from his duties for the week, therefore opening the door for Nico to add to his lap total.

Hamilton and Rosberg Mileage Comparison (2)

Hamilton and Rosberg Mileage Comparison (3)

Many will argue that what a driver takes away from testing is rather limited. Ultimately, it is an exercise for engineers rather than the pilots of the machines at the center of the attention. However, as Hamilton’s lead over Nico has shrunk to just 10 points during the course of the last four races, in which Rosberg has taken three victories, the importance of every advantage within a driver’s inventory is now being elevated.

However, Hamilton is often praise for being a driver who uses a baseline established by natural ability. This trait was noticeable in Canada. Having endured a difficult first three sessions, in which he found himself in the barriers, facing the on-coming traffic at the hairpin and ending FP3 rooted to the bottom of the timesheet, Lewis called on his natural talent, which proved strong enough to wrestle top spot away from Rosberg.

As such, it remains to be seen whether completing around 50% less testing mileage compared to his teammate will have an effect on Hamilton’s quest for a third world title. Regardless, the figures are rather intriguing and I am sure they will be referred to when it comes to assessing the secret to either driver’s success come November.

Image Credit: "Rosberg pilots the F1 W06 Hybrid"
By Michael Elleray (via Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0]
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