Category Archives: Nico Rosberg

China GP F1 – 2016 Nico pulls a hat-trick

Nico dominates, Lewis battles back on a dramatic afternoon in Shanghai

  • Nico took his 17th career victory today – his second at the Shanghai International Circuit, four years after sealing his first Formula One win at the same venue 1202293_2515971_1024_683_SNE12419
  • Lewis produced a battling drive to finish P7 from the back of the grid – despite incurring significant damage to his car in a first lap incident
  • Today’s result marks the 100th podium finish for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in Formula One
  • Nico (75) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 36 points from Lewis (39) in P2
  • MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (114) lead Ferrari (61) by 53 points in the Constructors’ Championship
Driver
Chassis No.
Grid
Result
Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg
F1 W07 Hybrid/03
P1
P1
1:40.418 (Lap 38)
Lewis Hamilton
F1 W07 Hybrid/01
P22
P7
1:40.662 (Lap 32)
Strategy
Start
Stop 1
Stop 2
Stop 3
Stop 4
Stop 5
No.6
Soft
Soft
(Lap 20)
Medium
(Lap 36)
N/A
N/A
N/A
No.44
Soft
Soft
(Lap 01)
SuperSoft
(Lap 05)
Soft
(Lap 06)
Soft
(Lap 21)
Medium
(Lap 30)
Weather
Clear, dry, mild
Temperatures
Air: 20.3 – 21.9 °C
Track: 37.3 – 45.3 °C

Nico Rosberg
It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China. First of all, the fans have been amazing from the moment I arrived. They’re so enthusiastic, which gives us drivers a very special feeling. Then, racing wise, it was an almost perfect weekend. Only the start could have been better – but luckily I was able to pass Daniel later on the straight and from then on I could build up a gap. I must say, I’ve never had a better balance in my car than I had today. It was really perfect, so a big thanks to everyone who helped me achieve that. I also want to thank all the women in my life – my wife, my daughter and my mother. Their support is unbelievable and that’s really what makes it possible for me to be doing what I’m doing. I’m a very happy man today and, after three races I can be really pleased about how my season has gone so far. But it’s a very long year ahead and there’s a lot of points still on the table, so I’m not losing my focus. Now I look forward to Russia, where I started my good run of qualifying results last year. Hopefully I can get on a nice run like that again.

Lewis Hamilton
That was definitely a difficult weekend. I got a good start – but it’s always tricky being at the back and trying not to get caught up in the domino effect of any contact at the first corner. I tried to avoid whatever happened in front of me but I just got tangled up in it. It was just a bit unfortunate, really. From there it was always going to be a battle – but I had a lot of fun fighting back through! There were plenty of overtakes, from what I can remember! I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit. There was nothing left in the tyres at the end and, although it’s pretty good for overtaking here, I had quite a lot of damage to the car which made it difficult to get close on the brakes. From what I could feel there was definitely some aero loss and possible suspension damage too, as the car seemed to be flexing all over the place. But that’s racing – it happens sometimes and at least I still managed to get a few points on the board. It’s a pretty big hit points-wise today – but I’ll just have to do what I can to make it up over the next few races. Onwards and upwards…

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
That was a rollercoaster race today. Nico enjoyed the perfect weekend: he was totally dominant this afternoon, always in control of his performance and did really a flawless job. For Lewis, the circumstances couldn’t have been more different. He got a great start, tried to stay out of trouble in the first corners and still got collected by a Sauber, who was avoiding another car coming back on track. His front wing was lodged under the car for a while, which damaged the leading edge of the floor and cost him a chunk of downforce for the rest of the race – though it was hard to know exactly how much during the race. We did something different with him under the Safety Car, cycling through the SuperSoft tyre with no loss of position, in order to open up some strategic options later in the race. He put in a great recovery drive and pulled off some great overtakes – but the damage to the car meant the tyres didn’t last as long as we had hoped and made it hard to catch cars through Turn 13 before the back straight. He still did a great job and kept charging to the end – but it was damage limitation again for him this afternoon. We are just three races into the longest season in Formula One history, so this isn’t the time to be looking at Championship tables or points gaps. We just need to keep scoring points right now, continue to work on our reliability after some wobbles this weekend and keep working very hard to bring more performance to the car and Power Unit. Today looked like it could have been a three-way fight with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull if our rivals had a cleaner race – so there is no margin for us to relax.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Starting on Lewis’ side, one of the debates we actually had overnight was whether to do a bit more work to the car and start him from the pit lane, which ironically would have been a better decision in hindsight given what happened at the first corner. Equally, Lewis had by far his best start of the season, which ironically contributed to him being caught up in the cascade of collisions ahead of him. So, a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances all round put him on the back foot straight away. We could see that there were problems with the car – both aerodynamic and mechanical – affecting him through the low-speed corners in particular. Under the safety car, we chose to perform consecutive pit stops with Lewis to get rid of the SuperSoft and enable us to run the rest of the race on the Soft, which was the stronger race tyre. As it transpired, his first set of softs were cut from the first corner incident – something we were unaware of at the time – which meant we were then forced to run the medium at the end of the race, rendering our SuperSoft eliminating tactic redundant. So, overall, Lewis did a great job to recover what he could with a car that was significantly underperforming. On Nico’s side, he actually had a less good start, losing a place into the first corner – although he was obviously running a less grippy tyre compound than the cars around him. He was, however, able to re-pass Daniel quite quickly once DRS became available and went on to have a straightforward race from there – running a soft / soft / medium strategy as intended from the beginning. An uneventful race from his perspective – but that’s not to underestimate the top job he did to manage the car safely within its limits and claim a well-deserved third victory of the season – and the 100th Formula One podium for the Silver Arrows in the process. We now look forward to Russia – targeting a clean and successful weekend on both sides of the garage.

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F1 – Germany Complete

Nico Rosberg has extended his championship lead by winning his home grand prix, using a two-stop strategy with one stint on the P Zero Red supersoft followed by two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre. It was the first time that Rosberg had ever finished on the podium at the German Grand Prix, but the 300th podium finish for Williams, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas – on the podium for the third consecutive time.

Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton made up 17 places by finishing third, having started from 20th on the grid due to an accident in qualifying. Hamilton moved from a two to a three-stop strategy in the race, starting with two stints on the soft tyre and using the extra speed of the supersoft for his final two stints. His last supersoft tyre stint was 17 laps, during which he set fastest lap. This enabled him to close up to Bottas in the closing stages and finish only 22 seconds behind Rosberg, despite a damaged front wing.unnamed

The frontrunners on the grid all started on the supersoft tyre, which was around a second per lap faster than the soft tyre. Track temperatures were more than 20 degrees centigrade lower than they had been over the past two days, giving the teams a new dimension, but the expected risk of rain did not materialise. The drivers were able to push as hard as they could with some very close racing from start to finish: the gap at the end between Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in fifth and sixth was less than a tenth of a second, after 306 kilometres of racing.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “With conditions being a lot cooler than they had been previously, the teams were working in a somewhat unknown area when it came to tyre behaviour compared to the previous two days. We saw plenty of close racing – sometimes very close racing – that also affected tyre wear and degradation. As expected there were between two and three pit stops, with two of the podium finishers, including the winner, stopping just twice. Although he stopped one more time than his direct rivals, Hamilton’s strategy allowed him to come right into contention from a long way down the grid. Our choice of the soft and supersoft ensured plenty of action and some exciting battles from start to finish, despite several different strategies being played out.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Soft Supersoft Intermediate Wet
First Ric – 1m20.846s Ham – 1m19.908s N/A N/A
Second Alo – 1m21.212s Mag – 1m20.224s N/A N/A
Third Ros – 1m21.298s Alo – 1m20.548s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Soft Button (30 laps)
Supersoft Ericsson (24 laps)

Truth-O-Meter:

We said that either a two or three stopper was possible, with a two-stop supersoft-supersoft-soft strategy most likely, stopping on laps 18 and 38. Rosberg adopted a slightly different strategy, starting on the supersoft and completing two stints on the soft tyre, making his first stop on lap 15 and his second stop on lap 41.

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Filed under F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Nico Rosberg, Technology

F1 – Germany, Quali super soft and super hot

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for his home grand prix, in track temperatures that were just as hot as those seen yesterday. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were second and third on the grid for Williams.

Bottas and Hamilton were the only drivers to progress to Q2 without using the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, which all the other drivers – including Rosberg – used. From then on, all the drivers used the softest compound in the range for the rest of qualifying, which was around a second faster than the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, also nominated for Hockenheim.unnamed

The biggest talking point though remains the weather, with the current hot weather expected to be replaced by thundery rain showers tomorrow afternoon.

Rosberg was also quickest in the final free practice session this morning, going six-tenths of a second faster than his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who crashed due to a mechanical failure in Q1 but still managed to qualify in 16th position. Although he is out of position, this gives him a completely free choice of tyres for the race and the opportunity to use strategy to his advantage.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We saw a dramatic qualifying session with track temperature that was, if anything, even higher than it had been yesterday. As we expected, the supersoft was the tyre to qualify on, being about a second quicker than the soft. This obviously affected the qualifying strategy, with all the drivers apart from Bottas and Hamilton using the supersoft even in Q1. Teams are obviously thinking ahead to the race tomorrow, but with a possibility of heavy showers, it will be hard to make any firm predictions for a strategy. The teams that have managed to save tyres for the race may not be able to reap the benefit of them if the wet weather tyres are instead needed. And as the teams don’t really have any relevant wet weather data for Hockenheim, this would certainly be a very interesting turn of events.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:

For the 67-lap German Grand Prix, a two-stop strategy is theoretically fastest, although there is not a big time difference to a three-stopper. Ultimately, the decision will come down to degradation and wear rate – which will also be influenced by track temperature – and external race circumstances, such as traffic. If it rains, the strategy will have to be reactive rather than premeditated. Our prediction for the quickest strategy is supersoft-supersoft-soft, stopping on laps 18 and 38. A three-stop sprint strategy could also work, but the two-stopper is more likely.

Fastest compounds in FP3:
Rosberg 1m17.779s Supersoft New
Hamilton 1m18.380s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m18.384s Supersoft New

Top 10 tyre use:
Rosberg 1m16.540s Supersoft New
Bottas 1m16.759s Supersoft New
Massa 1m17.078s Supersoft New
Magnussen 1m17.214s Supersoft New
Ricciardo 1m17.273s Supersoft New
Vettel 1m17.577s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m17.649s Supersoft New
Kvyat 1m17.965s Supersoft New
Hulkenberg 1m18.014s Supersoft New
Perez 1m18.035s Supersoft New

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Filed under F1 2014, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Mercedes Petronas F1 team, Nico Rosberg, Pirelli F1 Tyres

F1 – Silverstone, who is on pole

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has qualified in pole position for the British Grand Prix, using the P Zero White medium tyres, which have been nominated along with the P Zero Orange hard tyres at Silverstone this weekend. But today was mostly about the Cinturato Green intermediate tyre, which was frequently used during a qualifying session that was characterised by mixed conditions. So variable was the weather that the hard, medium, intermediate and wet tyres were all used today at some point.

Rosberg judged the constantly changing conditions to perfection, taking advantage of a drying track in the closing stages to seal pole position by the considerable margin of 1.6 seconds from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Qualifying started in the wet, following overnight rain. As a result, all the cars headed out on intermediate tyres for Q1, looking to put in a banker lap in case conditions worsened. Instead, a dry line formed meaning that all drivers switched onto the medium tyres before the rain fell again.

Nico Rosberg takes pole at the very end. Photo Pierre P. Vella

Nico Rosberg takes pole at the very end. Photo Pierre P. Vella

This set the tone for the rest of qualifying, with the drivers starting Q2 on intermediates, before moving onto mediums close to the end: a pattern that was repeated in a dramatic Q3. Even when the drivers moved onto medium tyres, the track was never completely dry, yet the medium compound enabled Rosberg to set a time that was only a second off his fastest time from yesterday – which was completely dry.

The final free practice session this morning was also held in wet and cool conditions, with the rain intensifying throughout the hour-long session. Vettel was fastest, from his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, both using intermediate tyres.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “With mixed conditions throughout the day, it was a very complex qualifying session, in which judging the crossover point and amount of grip – which was constantly evolving – proved to be crucial. As a result, there were some surprises in the qualifying order all the way to the end. We’re still anticipating a two-stop race tomorrow, from what should be a very interesting grid.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:

For the 52-lap British Grand Prix, a two-stop strategy is theoretically fastest, although some drivers might even try a one-stopper, if they want to do something different from lower down the grid. Our prediction for the quickest strategy is medium-medium-hard, stopping on laps 23 and 45. A three-stop sprint strategy could also work (medium-medium-medium-hard) with stops on laps 18, 34 and 51. This however would leave drivers vulnerable of feeding into traffic during the closing stages of the race.

Fastest compounds in FP3:
Vettel 1m52.522s Intermediate
Ricciardo 1m52.631s Intermediate
Maldonado 1m53.044s Intermediate

Top 10 tyre use:
Rosberg 1m35.766s Medium
Vettel 1m37.386s Medium
Button 1m38.200s Medium
Hulkenberg 1m38.329s Medium
Magnussen 1m38.417s Medium
Hamilton 1m39.232s Medium
Perez 1m40.457s Medium
Ricciardo 1m40.606s Medium
Kvyat 1m40.707s Medium
Vergne 1m40.855s Medium

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F1 – Return to Austria-Rosberg returns to winning

Race strategy proved key to victory for Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg at the Austrian Grand Prix, who started from third on the grid. The German started behind both Williams drivers, but by stopping before them and maximising the benefit of new tyres – a manoeuvre known as the ‘undercut’ – he was able to gain the lead after the first round of pit stops.j-l-idhrqt-pdijikjj-r

Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton used the same strategy even more effectively. Hamilton started on the P Zero Red supersoft and then completed two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft, to finish just 1.9 seconds behind his team mate despite starting from ninth on the grid. Both drivers fought closely to the end, with Valtteri Bottas clinching his debut podium, just eight seconds off the lead.

The Force India of Sergio Perez started from 15th on the grid on the soft tyres and went to lap 29 before completing one more stint on the soft and then the final stint on the rapid supersoft compound. This opposite tactic from most drivers elevated him to sixth at the finish.

Despite track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, the two Marussia drivers – Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton – as well as Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi all finished the race with just one pit stop.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Tyre performance was very much in line with our expectations today, despite the warmer conditions. As a result of that, degradation was a little higher than we saw previously and it was a straightforward two-stop race, with a one-stopper becoming a little too ambitious for most teams. We saw an entertaining grand prix where tyre strategy was very important, and of course it’s always great to see a new face on the podium. Congratulations to Valtteri and Williams, as well as Mercedes, for a great performance all weekend.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First PER – 1m12.142s HAM – 1m12.217s N/A N/A
Second BUT – 1m12.858s BOT – 1m12.581s N/A N/A
Third MAL – 1m13.187s MAS – 1m12.586s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Supersoft 37 laps M Chilton
Soft 57 laps K Kobayashi

Truth-O-Meter:

Our two-stop prediction was: start on supersoft, change to soft on lap 13 and soft again on lap 42. Rosberg stopped slightly earlier than our prediction, on laps 11 and 40, but followed the same strategy.

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F1 – Monaco. Rosberg retains the crown

Just as he did last year, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led every lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, starting from pole on the P Zero Red supersoft tyre before switching to the P Zero Yellow soft. Not only that, but Mercedes has continued its record of leading every single lap so far this season.

Rosberg was locked in an intense battle with his team Lewis Hamilton from start to finish, with management of tyres and fuel proving to be a key factor, as there was such a small performance gap between them.

Nico Rosberg wins in Monaco- Image Steve Etherington ©

Nico Rosberg wins in Monaco- Image Steve Etherington ©

Both drivers made their sole pit stop on lap 25, with Rosberg pitting just in front of Hamilton as Mercedes, along with most teams, took advantage of a safety car period. The top six all stopped just once, with the highest placed two-stopper being Lotus F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean in eight.

Most drivers started on the supersoft, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg the highest-placed driver to start on the soft. He used a one-stop strategy to climb six places from 11th to fifth.

Another innovative strategy was adopted by Williams and Felipe Massa, who ran with the supersoft tyre for 45 laps at the beginning of the race, before switching to the soft for a shorter final stint. This strategy enabled him to climb from 16th on the grid to seventh at the finish. Grosjean also completed more than 50 laps on a single set of supersofts, from lap 24 to the end.

After the Monaco Grand Prix, Pirelli will give reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer the chance to drive a Formula One car, as part of his prize for winning the title last year. The Swiss driver will take the wheel of a 2012 car supplied by the Lotus F1 Team at Paul Ricard in France on Tuesday.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Monaco is synonymous with unpredictability, and once more we saw plenty of action, safety cars and racing incidents. Tyre wear and degradation was not an issue, as we saw from the very long stints completed by some drivers even on the supersoft, and the fact that most drivers completed just one stop. The tyres on Grosjean’s car, for example, still had 20% of their rubber left despite having completed more than 50 laps. Track temperatures were cooler than they had been for qualifying, but the pace was still such that the top four lapped the rest of the field, with an extremely close fight between the top three. Although we’re running a more durable tyre this year, performance is not generally compromised. As single tyre supplier, the tyres are what the first and the last car on the grid: all the rest is in the hands of the teams. Congratulations also to Marussia, who have scored their well-deserved first points in Formula One on our tyres.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First RAI – 1m18.479s RIC – 1m19.252s N/A N/A
Second ROS – 1m20.082s HAM – 1m19.361s N/A N/A
Third HAM – 1m20.321s ROS – 1m19.425s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Supersoft GRO 54 laps
Soft RIC, HAM, BUT, ALO, ROS 52 laps

Truth-O-Meter:

The teams had very little dry running on the supersoft, which made it hard to predict a strategy. But we expected those who started on the supersoft to switch to the soft on lap 30. In the end, their strategy was forced by the appearance of the safety car, with both cars stopping on lap 26.

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Filed under F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Petronas F1 team, Monaco F1 GP, Nico Rosberg, Pirelli F1 Tyres