“There’s lots of places where we can control them,” McLaren boss Ron Dennis reflected at Suzuka. “But we can’t control them sat in a racing car.”
That’s why the drivers’ team radio communications give some of the most compelling insights into what’s really going on in Formula One. Dennis knew this only too well after the toe-curling experience of listening to star driver Fernando Alonso describe Honda’s power unit as a “GP2 engine” in front of the Japanese manufacturer’s top brass at their home race.
There were countless such memorable messages during 2015. Revealing, surprising or just plain amusing, here’s 75 of the best.
Australian Grand Prix
The first of many testy exchanges between Kimi Raikkonen and his engineer came as the Ferrari driver’s first race of the year was brought to an early end by a problem in the pits.
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||OK stop the car Kimi, stop the car and find a safe place to pull off.|
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||Did you leave the wheel loose?|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Unfortunately wheel was not tight. I’m sorry, Kimi.|
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Malaysian Grand Prix
Certain types of assistance cannot be provided over the radio – as some drivers were told more frequently than others.
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||The guy who’s on first, is he doing dry lines nearly anywhere? Even braking?|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Can’t help you with lines, Nico.|
For the second year in a row, Sebastian Vettel was just hundredths of a second away from beating Lewis Hamilton to pole position.
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Well done, really happy…|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Not again! Not again, after last year, same! One tenth! Really happy guys. Great reaction in difficult conditions.|
Chinese Grand Prix
Red Bull often found themselves having to orchestrate an exchange of positions between their drivers. On this occasion Daniil Kvyat confused Daniel Ricciardo by letting him through and then immediately re-passing.
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Losing a bit of time. Should we box?|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Understood, mate, we are looking into other strategies. Stay out, stay out.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||OK Danny you have Daniel behind, Ricciardo behind. Do not fight him. We are on different strategies.|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||He’s left me open then cut me. He’s got to let me by.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Danny we are on different strategies to Daniel, OK?|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Yeah he has to get in the tow.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Do not hold, do not hold Daniel.|
Nico Rosberg felt Hamilton was trying to spoil his race.
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Lewis is driving very slow so get him to speed up.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy that|
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||If I go closer I destroy my tyres like in my first stint, that’s the problem.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis we’d like to pick the pace up a little bit. Target 43.7. Let us know if that’s possible.|
The early optimism at McLaren didn’t last.
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||OK Fernando that is the end of the race. We finished P12, got both cars home. That’s a good step forward. Had a few difficulties during the race but hopefully had a fight at times.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Yeah it’s OK guys. First race really for me so good to bring the car home. We know soon we will have a little bit more fun.|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Absolutely.|
Bahrain Grand Prix
Sergio Perez and Vettel tangled at turn one.
|Sebastian Vettel||Ricardo Adami||I had a failure and then [censored by FOM] Perez took my wheel off. Unbelievable.|
Formula One’s youngest driver had an unusual problem which said something about the performance of his engine.
|Max Verstappen||Xevi Pujolar||Why is it so difficult to spin the rear tyres in a Formula One car? I don’t understand.|
Later in the season Force India pulled well clear of Sauber, but at this stage one of them was an irritation for Nico Hulkenberg.
|Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Racing Ericsson.|
|Erik Schuivens||Marcus Ericsson||So Hulkenberg ahead left the pits on [medium] again, he’s our main target.|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||That idiot Ericsson almost running into the back of me every time.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||BBW [brake-by-wire] fault.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So just caution on the brakes, you’ve got one lap remaining, you’ve got plenty of gap. Gap to Raikkonen 6.2. So got plenty of space Lewis, plenty of space.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||My temperatures’ dropping.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Yeah they’re coming down Lewis so not a problem. Just look after them, not long to go.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Great stuff Lewis, get in there mate. Well done, great race. Bit of a scare at the end there.|
Spanish Grand Prix
More frustrations for Raikkonen on two separate occasions during practice.
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||What are you guys doing? First we go out then we go directly in the traffic, that should not be even possible.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Confirm, we have a wrong setting.|
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||Excellent. How can we be in wrong settings?|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||I don’t have an answer.|
Disagreements about strategy were a frequent point of debate.
|Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Copy that Nico. The only plus point is the hard is looking poor at the moment.|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||No, don’t speak on the straight.|
|Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Well you’ll have to wait for your answer, then. The hard is looking poor at the moment.|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||Fair enough having the new now but should have had the new now, I would have gone through these guys.|
|Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Right, this is what you’ve got, so let’s make the best of it now mate.|
Monaco Grand Prix
McLaren’s best chance of getting into Q3 all season was thwarted when Rosberg brought out the yellow flags, forcing Jenson Button to abandon his run.
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||That’s painful. Such a shame, guys. We were on for a reasonable result, there.|
Romain Grosjean fumed at being hit by Verstappen.
|Romain Grosjean||Julien Simon-Chautemps||He’s a [censored by FOM] that Verstappen. That was stupid.|
An excruciating slip-up for Hamilton in Monaco was caught on the radio. Formula One Management took the unprecedented step of publishing an extended excerpt of the discussion after the race, allowing us to hear exactly how a certain victory had been thrown away.
Hamilton briefly stopped at Portier corner on his way back to the pits, and a new radio message revealed recently showed Mercedes were concerned he wouldn’t come to the podium afterwards.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So just a reminder you are in your Safety Car… Virtual Safety Car. So look at your dash, look at the boards, keep positive, stay positive and you are staying out.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So we are staying out and you are staying positive.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis a Safety Car has been deployed.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Are you sure it’s the best thing to stay out? These tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone’s going to be on [super-softs] now.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Nope, we will be boxing the end of the lap, so just stay positive. We are going to go up one-and-a-half turns for the [super-soft] tyre, unless you tell us different.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Just give us pit confrirm.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK so we are now staying out, staying out. Just confirm on the radio.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Guys, that’s not good. These tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone is going to be on [super-softs] now.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK, copy copy, box box.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So cancel the brake magic. Caution on pit entry. RS modes. Cancel RS. Watch the line on pit exit.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||What’s happened, guys? Guys, what’s happened?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, so we got caught behind… So we’re just getting a look now, just having a look now. We’re just reviewing the video. So stick the brake warming on, let’s get some temperature into these brakes.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis so we have lost the marshalling system so we may need to do something to override DRS.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Not if they lose all their tyre temp. They’re on [soft] tyre, you’ve got very good [super-soft] on the car at the moment.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||How many laps left?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||We’ve got 13 laps remaining.|
Raikkonen objected to Ricciardo’s forceful pass at Mirabeau.
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||Did you see what that guy did? He just pushed me off the, off his front. He just hit me then I went wide, so, that’s not very nice. If that’s not a penalty then nothing is penalty. You can push each other off the line.|
Red Bull orchestrated another exchange of positions in Monaco, this time to give Ricciardo the chance to attack Hamilton. It failed, so he was told to let Kvyat through again. Part of the exchange below was not originally broadcast during the race, and can be he heard on the official 2015 season review video:
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Daniel behind on fresh options, on a different strategy, OK? Do not hold him up.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||OK, good for him.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||No, no, Dany, Dany, we will switch it back if he doesn’t make any progress, OK? We’ll switch it back, but at the moment he’s on a different strategy, so do not hold him up.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK Daniel we will be released to attack the cars ahead.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||OK, good lad.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Is Daniel making any progress?|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||You don’t need to worry about that at this stage, Dany. You focus on getting to the end as quickly as you can.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||This is the last lap. If we don’t overtake any cars we will be asked to give the position back to Kvyat.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Yeah, thank you Daniel, it’s important we do this.|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Understood.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK mte, thanks for your discipline there.|
Canadian Grand Prix
Mercedes got another tyre call wrong at the very next day of running after their Monaco embarrassment. Both drivers were sent onto a very wet track in Canada on intermediate tyres, and Hamilton crashed as a result.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Let us know if you think it’s X-wet [extreme wet tyre] conditions – it looks wet out there.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So Lewis we think it’s X-wet conditions.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Aquaplaned.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||If you think it’s too dangerous then you can box.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Just box, box, we’ll stop.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Caution, caution turn ten, Lewis has gone straight on. Brake early.|
Kvyat had a case of too much information.
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Hamilton P1, 1’16.6|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||I don’t need to know this!|
Button was vexed by a common team radio aggravation.
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||I don’t know why but every time you talk to me it’s in a corner. There are long enough straights here!|
And Verstappen got a big surprise.
|Max Verstappen||Xevi Pujolar||Woah, I heard someone else from another team on my radio!|
|Xevi Pujolar||Max Verstappen||Copy that, Max.|
Struggling with an MGU-H problem, Vettel narrowly failed to make it into Q2.
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||OK P16 for three-tenths.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||[Censored by FOM]|
Meanwhile his team mate felt the team’s procedures needed sharpening up.
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||These will be the race tyres.|
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||These things you have to tell straight away. I do half a lap pushing for an extra lap then we decided these are the race tyres.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Yeah understood Kimi I was trying to deal with Rosberg traffic, my mistake.|
Hamilton showed his appreciation for the team’s efforts after a trying few days.
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Don’t know if you boys can hear me. I just wanted to say a big thank-you for all the hard work this weekend putting the car back together. Didn’t get to see you all individually but really appreciate it.|
Raikkonen spun at the old pits hairpin for the second year in a row and suspecpted there was a similar root cause.
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||That, exactly same happened last year. Suddenly it just the K kicks in.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Understood, understood, just get back in the rhythm.|
Grosjean collided with the Manor of Will Stevens and didn’t immediately realise he had only himself to blame.
|Romain Grosjean||Julien Simon-Chautemps||He hit me! He hit me! This is not possible.|
|Will Stevens||Josh Peckett||Box, box, I’ve got a puncture, the front-right, Grosjean hit me.|
|Josh Peckett||Will Stevens||Understood mate. In now, in now.|
|Will Stevens||Josh Peckett||He’s so stupid, he comes across in front of me every single time he overtakes. Where does he want me to go, off the track?|
|Josh Peckett||Will Stevens||OK understood, mate. We’ll have a look into it.|
Austrian Grand Prix
In Austria it was Raikkonen’s turn to drop out in Q1 on a damp but drying track.
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||We’ve been bumped.|
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||What?|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||We’re P17.|
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||How the [censored by FOM] that is possible?|
While Mercedes took another one-two, a slow pit stop for Vettel put Felipe Massa on the podium.
|Dave Robson||Felipe Massa||Fantastic job Felipe. Great job those last few laps, brilliant all weekend.|
|Felipe Massa||Dave Robson||Yeah guys, very good I’m so happy. I’m so happy with how we raced, when we kept behind then we picked up the others so we didn’t make mistake. Well done guys, well done.|
|Dave Robson||Felipe Massa||Thanks Felipe and as I said absolutely fantastic job you’ve driven brilliantly there. Did all the work on Friday, that’s paid off. Nice work.|
|Rob Smedley||Felipe Massa||Well done mate that was an absolutely great weekend. Really proud of you. I said to you a few races ago, not bad for an old man. Good lad, thank you.|
|Felipe Massa||Dave Robson||Yep. Not bad for an old man.|
British Grand Prix
The Williams pair made phenomenal starts at Silverstone and led the race – but Valtteri Bottas was anxious to demote Massa.
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Instruction: No racing your team mate for now.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||I have more pace.|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Copy. No racing for now. We’ll keep you advised.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||Can I overtake? I can do it in the back straight. Tell me.|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Yes.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||Repeat.|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Yes, you can.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||That was too late.|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||It has to be a very clean move,. And you need to pull away when you are in front. Clean move.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||Copy.|
|Dave Robson||Felipe Massa||OK Felipe so Valtteri is going to try and attack you on the back straight, he will try and attack you with DRS.|
A superbly judged call for intermediate tyres secured the win for Hamilton.
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Keep us advised on the tyres, we may go for inter.|
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||It’s all good.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Copy.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I’ve got no grip on these tyres, guys.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Copy that, Lewis. So we are ready for…|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Box this lap, box this lap.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Ready for you box box. Menu tyre position three, RS modes.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||You need to let us know how it is, Lewis has pitted for inters.|
Hungarian Grand Prix
McLaren’s diagnosis that Alonso’s power unit problem would not cause a problem soon proved false – he ended up pushing his car back to the pits. Things would get better for him, however.
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||OK Fernando we understand the issue. OK to keep running it shouldn’t affect us.|
Hamilton went off on the first lap and blamed his team mate for changing his line.
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Nico crossed over my line there, pushed me wide.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Nice moved back onto… You know you’re supposed to only be able to move once.|
Red Bull pulled the switch again, and this time Kvyat was especially reluctant to play along.
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Are you being held up? What is your status?|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Yeah held up a lot.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Do not hold Ricciardo behind.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Well I’m also stuck behind them.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Yeah, understood. Do not hold Ricciardo though, Danny, please. Do not hold Ricciardo. Copy?|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Well I do not. I’m stuck behind Hulkenberg, I am trying to pass.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Danny, Ricciardo is on a different strategy. Let’s fall back into our own race now, please.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Well my tyres are not great shape. So maybe we might consider switching our strategy as well.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||OK. Let Ricciardo through please Danny.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Well I am in the DRS of Hulkenberg [censored by FOM] guys.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Danny please let Ricciardo through.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK mate so we’ve got to make the most of it now, let’s get stuck in.|
Rosberg ran ahead of Hamilton for much of the race and was anxious to cover him off strategically.
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So Nico we need to find more lap time. Lewis will be going to the [medium] tyre, possibly earlier than you.|
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||I’ll go to the [medium] as well, then.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Nico at the moment the pit wall are not inclined to do that.|
Vettel dedicated his victory to Jules Bianchi, the former Ferrari development driver who died in the week before the race.
|Maurizio Arrivabene||Sebastian Vettel||Yes, Sebastian, yes! P1! Another flag in Maranello. Well done!|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Grazie ragazzi! Grazie. Forza Ferrari. Merci Jules, cette victoire est pour toi. [Thanks Jules, this victory is for you]. You will always be in our hearts. We know that sooner or later Jules would have been a part of this team. Grazie, guys.|
Belgian Grand Prix
A familiar situation for Lotus.
|Pastor Maldonado||Mark Slade||I crash. Lose the back end of the car.|
|Mark Slade||Pastor Maldonado||Is the car damaged? I take it it is.|
|Pastor Maldonado||Mark Slade||Yeah.|
On Saturday the other Lotus driver was livid after Raikkonen slowed in front of him.
|Romain Grosjean||Julien Simon-Chautemps||Raikkonen is dangerous, it’s very dangerous what he did to me. Very, very dangerous.|
Williams committed the unusual mistake of fitting two different types of tyre to one car – a violation of the rules.
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||We have a drive through penalty. Just drive through the pits and back out.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||Copy.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||What was the issue?|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Your right-rear is a [medium] tyre, all others are [soft]. Mix-up in pit stop. Crack on with the race, we can still gain some good points.|
Vettel ran a long stint on his tyres and was told they would last – but his right-rear blew up on the penultimate lap. Again, part of the message below was not previously broadcast:
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Tyres, from the data, looks pretty good to go to the end. […]|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Saw what happened?|
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Yeah, copy.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Tyres were on the limit, yes, but for [censored by FOM] sake.|
Grosjean scored an emotional podium finish for Lotus.
|Julien Simon-Chautemps||Romain Grosjean||Fantastic job, mate, fantastic job. P3, well done. That’s incredible, one of the best races of your career, mate. Incredible, I’m so proud.|
|Romain Grosjean||Julien Simon-Chautemps||Well done, well done you superstar.|
|Julien Simon-Chautemps||Romain Grosjean||Fantastic, well done mate.|
Italian Grand Prix
Worrying symptoms for Hulkenberg:
|Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||I have a wet bum and it smells like petrol.|
Hamilton’s cruise to another win was interrupted when Mercedes learned he might be given a time penalty. He was urged to increase his pace, but they were reluctant to say why.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So we need to open this gap right up. Do what we can you’ve got seven laps remaining. OK Lewis we can go strat mode three, we need to pull a gap. Don’t ask questions, just execute.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis let’s just have some ‘Hammertime’ lap times. We just need some good lap times now. No need to ask questions, we’ll just explain it at the end.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I’ve not got a lot of pace in me.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK copy that. Just five laps to go. That pace is good, don’t take any risks.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||What do I need to do? I can’t get much quicker.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||What you’re doing is great, Lewis. That’s all we need. Just stabilise on pace.|
Singapore Grand Prix
Button wasn’t sure about the reconfiguration of the Singapore track.
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||The new bit of circuit, the safety there is questionable. It’s bumpy, obviously no run-off.|
Ferrari knew they had an opportunity to win in Singapore but Red Bull were close and Vettel wasn’t leaving anything to chance. In Q2 he was unwilling to use any more life from the tyres he would start the race on.
|Ricardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Box Sebastian. Pit entry test.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Ricardo Adami||Negative. Saving the tyres.|
Sure enough Ricciardo was pushing Vettel in the race when the Safety Car gave the Ferrari driver a break.
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||He got lucky didn’t he?|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Yes mate.|
Meanwhile Hamilton’s only technical retirement of the year convenently coincided with a rare uncompetitive showing by Mercedes – though they believed they could have won.
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||It’s really getting a lot worse now, I’m slowing right down. You need to stop me. Brakes are getting cold and everything, I can’t|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Yeah affirm Lewis, copy that. We see it’s all dropping off. Box box. We are going to try and power cycle the car in the pit box. It will be RS modes, stop in the box, go to neutral and switch off.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK so we are going to retire the car.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Thanks for persevering with us Lewis. We were trying our best to get you back into life.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Yeah its a real shame man. I think I had the pace to win.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Yeah we think we had the strategy to win as well, mate.|
Vettel was alarmed to discover someone had wandered onto the track during the race, which brought out another Safety Car.
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Ricciardo 4.5 seconds behind.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||There’s a fan on the track. There’s a person on the circuit between 13 and 14.|
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Box Sebastian, box for [soft].|
Button was in a wry mood at McLaren.
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||At last we’ve got a break with Safety Cars. Well, we’d’ve got a break last time if we didn’t balls it up.|
|Tom Stallard||Jenson Button||OK Jenson so manage the temperatures. We want you to save as much fuel as possible and we need some hard braking events to keep the temperature in the front brakes.|
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||And rub your tummy and pat your head? Alright we can do this.|
Ricciardo had to settle for second, but he wasn’t going to let Vettel have the fastest lap.
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Excellent job. Very good job today mate, pace was excellent, you did get the fastest lap of the race. We might have had a bit more of a chance without the Safety Cars. You did a very good job.|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Yep, understood. Cheers guys. Good race car. Think we got a bit unlucky but anyway thank you.|
|Christian Horner||Daniel Ricciardo||Very good job, Daniel, really professional job there. You’ll upset your former team mate by the fact you got fastest lap so you can let him know that. But very professional drive. You two were in a class of your own today.|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Christian Horner||Thanks Christian. I’ll give him a bit of shit.|
|Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||He was certainly trying as well, mate. You pipped him him by about… I’ll let you know the number.|
Japanese Grand Prix
After a superb effort in qualifying at Suzuka, Alonso was literally powerless to prevent his rivals passing him on the straight. He did not spare the blushes of the assembled Honda executives at their home event in a series of radio messages.
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Balance OK, but it is driving like on ice. Poor grip. I’m caught on the straight like a GP2. This is embarrassing, very embarrassing. I do my best.|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Yep, understood, we know you will, you’re still P11, plenty to aim for.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||GP2 engine, GP2!|
Alonso wasn’t the only driver frustrated by his engine – Red Bull’s struggle with Renault continued.
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Can I [censored by FOM] use the overtake button guys or not?|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Dani, negative on the overtake button, negative on the overtake button. Just do as we say. Multi 10 position 12.|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Which position, sorry, I was busy.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||OK let’s have multi 10 position 9. Dani so just confirm we cannot use the overtake button. We are unable to use the overtake button for the rest of this race for reliability issues. Any changes we make are to offer you a greater opportunity to pass the car ahead. So…|
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||OK, understood.|
Russian Grand Prix
Button made sure the stewards were alert to Sainz’s transgression.
|Jenson Button||Tom Stallard||Why is Sainz not getting a penalty? Is Sainz getting a penalty for crossing the white line on entrance?|
|Tom Stallard||Jenson Button||Stand by Jenson, I’ll investigate.|
The gallows humour continued in the cockpit of the other McLaren.
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||And Fernando we are racing Massa behind to the end.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||I love your sense of humour.|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Well maybe we can have some fun trying, anyway.|
Vettel had another fright from a person on the track.
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||OK now it’s clear but we’ve got a very brave Russian running across the track. Track is clear now.|
Bottas passed Perez to take third on the penultiamte lap – only to be assaulted from behind by Raikkonen.
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Excellent we’ve got one more lap, stay in this mode. One more lap.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Last lap Kimi, last lap, all or nothing.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||So no puncture, Kimi, bring it home.|
|Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddolls||What the [censored by FOM] did he do?|
|Jonathan Eddolls||Valtteri Bottas||Copy. Kill the engine.|
United States Grand Prix
Raikkonen was unhappy with Verstappen’s defensive driving.
|Kimi Raikkonen||David Greenwood||That guy keeps pushing me off the circuit every time, when I’m next to him. So if that’s legal then I will do the same next time.|
|David Greenwood||Kimi Raikkonen||Understood. We’re checking with Charlie.|
The race began on a wet track and Hamilton was eager to know where he could find an advantage.
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Is there a different line into T1 because I don’t know, braking is quite slippery, it’s easy to lock up, are drivers going deep?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||I’m afraid I can’t comment on line, Lewis.|
Having been hit by Massa on the first lap, Alonso was in favour of parking late in the race. He said much the same during the season finale.
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Strange vibration coming from the engine on the power. Anything to do with the [unclear] deformation, maybe?|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||All is OK, we think, for the moment. We will keep checking. Keep going. Keep focused.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||It is not ok, no power. What we can do?|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||For the moment nothing. We are still investigating. I’ll let you know if there’s something we can.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Ok I’ll come in.|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Fernando stay out, we’re still in the points.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Not any more. In lap.|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Stay out, we are still in the points.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||OK when I am not in the points, I come in.|
Hamilton won the race and with it clinched his third world championship.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis. I think you’ve done it mate. Just need to see what Nico does. That is it! world champion pal! world champion.|
|Paddy Lowe||Lewis Hamilton||Three times world champion, Lewis!|
|Unknown||Lewis Hamilton||You’ve only gone and done it, mate!|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||I’m feeling it, pal. I’m feeling it.|
|Paddy Lowe||Lewis Hamilton||How good does that sound, Lewis? Three times world champion.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||It’s the greatest moment of my life. Thank you guys so much. That was… I’m just so greatful, thank you. To my family, I love you all. Thank you.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Just bring it home Lewis. We got to look after the race car, mate, we’re going to need it next week. So let’s just look after the car, mate, and have some fun tonight.|
Vettel was disappointed to learn his slim championship chances were at an end.
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Yes, P3, well done.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Sorry I tried. I was too far away.|
|Maurizio Arrivabene||Sebastian Vettel||Bravo Seb, una grande gara, complimentia [a great race, well done].|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Grazie ragazzi [thanks boys]. The car was great. Even if we didn’t have preparation. Is the championship game over?|
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Yes, affirmative.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||Ah shit. The first part I should have done a better job judging the conditions, it was ready for dries a bit sooner. After that is was OK, we did everything we could. Grazie.|
Mexican Grand Prix
After tangling with Ricciardo on the first lap, Vettel returned to the pits with a puncture, using the run-off in several places. Alonso was not impressed.
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Vettel is cutting all over the circuit, all the circuit. Very dangerous maneouver, just arrived to the pit lane. Vettel very dangerous maneouver.|
It was a poor race for Vettel and he was disinclined to help the flying Mercedes.
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Blue flag to Hamilton behind you, let him by.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||I am quicker than him.|
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Let him by now please. Let him by now or we get a penalty, let him by now and then stay behind him.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||But I am opening the gap to him.|
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||No you are not, from race direction, so let him by.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||OK, OK copy.|
When Mercedes decided to give both drivers an extra pit stop to look after their tyres, Hamilton spied an opportunity to stay ahead of his team mate. It was the first of three races in which Hamilton would try to use a different strategy to get in front of his team mate, but ultimately lost out.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||We are going to convert to Plan B, converting to Plan B, let us know if you need a flap adjust.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Can I ask why?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||We are worried about wear, we are worried about wear on these tyres, we are down to the canvas, so box this lap, box this lap.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Bono these tyres are still good.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So this is for safety reasons Lewis, so box this lap. So Lewis you will be boxing next lap, box next lap.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Bono you need to check his tyres, my tyres feel good.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So Lewis we were down to zero on the first set. If we go longer on this set, we will be down to zero if not worse. So this is boxing end of this lap, instruction.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||I think that’s the wrong call, but I am coming in.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK we will debate that later, so boxing at the end of this lap.|
Felipe Nasr had been frustrated by brake problems over and over during 2015, and made his unhappiness plain after retiring in Mexico with a potentially dangerous fault.
|Felipe Nasr||Craig Gardiner||My brakes are finished.|
|Craig Gardiner||Felipe Nasr||Understood Felipe.|
|Felipe Nasr||Craig Gardiner||Yeah guys, this situation is no good, it could have been end of straight.|
|Craig Gardiner||Felipe Nasr||Let’s speak later about that Felipe, alright? OK, see you soon.|
Kvyat narrowly missed out on a podium finish.
|Daniil Kvyat||Gianpiero Lambiase||Aargh [censored by FOM] we lost the [censored by FOM] podium.|
|Gianpiero Lambiase||Daniil Kvyat||Yeah bad luck Dani. I’m sure there wasn’t anything you could have done without that.|
Brazilian Grand Prix
Once again Hamilton was stuck behind Rosberg and wanted Mercedes to change his tactics.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis I think converting to plan B would be a bad idea, that would drop us behind both Ferraris who are still doing 16.6s.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||OK can you get me on a different strategy then somehow? Impossible to overtake. I’m faster but I can’t get close.|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
In Singapore Vettel celebrated his victory with a song, and during the second practice session in Abu Dhabi he sang the Italian version of Happy Birthday for his race engineer.
|Sebastian Vettel||Ricardo Adami||I think I forgot something this morning: Tanti auguri a te, tanti auguri a te, tanti auguri a Ricky, tanti auguri a te! Happy birthday, Ricky!|
|Ricardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Thank you very much!|
An increasingly frustrating season at Lotus hadtaken its toll on Grosjean.
|Romain Grosjean||Julien Simon-Chautemps||I keep telling you the same thing, it’s undriveable.|
Laughter on the radio at Toro Rosso as Sainz produced an especially good lap.
|Carlos Sainz Jnr?||Marco Matassa||It was a good one, no?|
|Marco Matassa||Carlos Sainz Jnr?||Outstanding!|
Alonso had first come across Stevens in Abu Dhabi 12 months earlier – once again he was unimpressed with his rival’s driving.
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Who was in front of me in the last three corners?|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||That was Stevens and Grosjean.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Idiot.|
Alonso took issue with his penalty at the start of the final race.
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Fernando, we have been given a drive-through, you must take it this lap.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Why?|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||Is is because the incidient in the start with Nasr, let’s get back there and focus on going to the end and see what happens, maybe a safety car.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||Is our fault?|
|Mark Temple||Fernando Alonso||So, the penalty is for hitting Maldonado, rather than the initial contact with Nasr.|
|Fernando Alonso||Mark Temple||I had the front tyres around me during the end, so I land in Maldonado, I landed into him, so…|
Toro Rosso swapped their drivers to get Verstappen ahead, but he locked up soon afterwards and spoiled his tyres, leading them to reverse the call.
|Max Verstappen||Xevi Pujolar||I’m really losing time.|
|Xevi Pujolar||Max Verstappen||Copy that, Max.|
|Xevi Pujolar||Max Verstappen||OK Max we will be revs now, revs. You get ahead and you need to close the gap to Kvyat.|
|Marco Matassa||Carlos Sainz Jnr||OK, Carlos, revs, revs, revs this lap, turn eight.|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Marco Matassa||He is not close enough, next lap, I leave him by.|
|Marco Matassa||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Let him by this lap, let him by this lap please. Do it now, do it now.|
|Max Verstappen||Xevi Pujolar||I have a massive flat spots. I have to box.|
|Xevi Pujolar||Max Verstappen||OK, Max, box this lap, box. Let Carlos pass behind.|
Did Hamilton think the same when Vettel held him up in Mexico?
|Riccardo Adami||Sebastian Vettel||Alonso in front of you, blue flag.|
|Sebastian Vettel||Riccardo Adami||I mean he must really hate me, I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I’m losing a second just because of that.|
Another attempted strategic gamble by Hamilton.
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||If I was to back off right now and look after these tyres to the end, how much – how slow can I go per lap?|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis I think that will be pretty much impossible to do. I think what we are currently planning is the way to go.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||Please give me the calculations.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||It’s not even worth working the numbers, it would be a real gamble and it wouldn’t pay off I guarantee it.|
|Lewis Hamilton||Peter Bonnington||The reason I’m asking is these tyres still feel good.|
After his strategy gamble failed to pay off, Hamilton took the more contentious route of using a more powerful engine mode when he wasn’t supposed to.
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, that will be strat mode ten, strat mode ten, if they do not comply than we will just turn Nico to strat six.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||So Nico, go strat six.|
|Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||And we will have strat mode ten strat mode ten, that is an instruction.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||And strat ten, Nico.|
Rosberg ended his season on a high but Mercedes rationed the celebratory doughnuts.
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Woohoo! Awesome guys, thanks for this end of the season, it was really great.|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Great job Nico.|
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Thanks very much, can I do some doughnuts?|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Er, we’d rather save the fuel.|
|Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Well you tell me, I want to do them, can I do them or not?|
|Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||OK, do one doughnut.|
2015 F1 season review
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review
- Your favourite – and least favourite – F1 races of 2015
- The best stories, debates and pictures: F1 Fanatic’s must-read highlights of 2015
- Take the F1 Fanatic 2015 F1 season Quiz
- Watch the top ten races of 2015 outside F1