Rosberg didn’t realise his last lap was quicker

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Nico Rosberg revealed he spun on his last qualifying lap because he mistakenly believed he was not on course to improve his time and took a risk.

“I had two main problems today,” said Rosberg after qualifying fourth. “I wasn’t totally happy with the feeling on the brakes, which resulted in me locking up and going off on my fast lap on the second to last lap.”

“Then on my final timed lap, I was half a second quicker going into the last corner – but my time delta on my steering wheel display said that I was two tenths slower. So I just took a big risk and spun because I mistakenly thought I had nothing to lose anyway.”

A half-second improvement on his original Q3 lap might still have left him off the front row, but would have moved him ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

“Fourth place is not a disaster,” said Rosberg. “I was quick on Friday doing the race preparation so I am still confident that there is everything to play for tomorrow.”

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

21 comments on “Rosberg didn’t realise his last lap was quicker”

  1. P2 is there for grabs I think. He’ll get past those RBR eventually. He has a whole race ahead of him in which he will have plenty of opportunities. Mind you, if he doesn’t get past in the first five laps or so.

    Hamilton will be long gone though.

    1. Hamilton will be long gone though.

      LOL, that sounds pretty tragic for Rosberg.

    2. @ardenflo A lot depends on the start . If it’s like Malaysia it’s going to be as what you predicted. In Sepang it was good for Lewis. He had a good start , but by the time Nico overtook Vettel in the first corner tussle , Lewis had extended a small gap enough to avoid DRS after a couple more laps .

  2. Even if he was 2 tenths slower, it meant he was still faster than his previous time. So it probably was still correct, 5 tenths faster than his previous but 2 tenths slower than the ultimate.
    I am guessing he’ll need to clear the air with the team on that one.

    1. Jean-Christophe
      19th April 2014, 11:26

      That’s what happens when you are too smart :-)

      1. @Jean-Christophe : You mean too intelligent

        1. Jean-Christophe
          19th April 2014, 15:57

          Exactly lol

    2. Usually the delta time shows difference to a driver’s personal best though, not to the best lap of the session.

  3. Looks like the pressure of expectation is getting to Rosberg.

  4. I feel Rosberg is going to be another Massa of 2008. Very close to become WDC but ultimately Lewis will be the WDC. Rosberg has got pace but it is those crucial moments where he bins it and all his efforts goes in vain.

    I remember that even at start of 2012 season when Mercedes were very quick , he used to have these moments in qualifying where he did mistake and his grid position was then compromised.

    Nico has got a golden oppurtunity this year when Mercs have such a huge margin over rest of the feild and all he needs is to race his teammate. He needs to be calm in these pressure situations and get a clean lap when it is required the most. Otherwise, it will be soon when Lewis will be leading the championship and ultimately becomes WDC of 2014.

    1. If Mercedes maintain their current form, Nico can afford to finish second in the next two races and still remain in contention. He was gifted a huge advantage by Lewis’ Melbourne wiring issues. The odd reliability problem is bound to have an effect on the championship again, so far Lewis seems to be suffering the vast majority of them.
      The problem is if and when the other teams, especially Redbull, catch up. Mercedes won’t have the luxury of a stroll to the championship.

      1. And by vast majority you mean just the one time. :)

        Rosberg had his problems too.

    2. In fairness, it sounds like NR is plenty calm, as he had improved on his last flying lap…just had erroneous info on his wheel that made him think he might as well take a risk as he thght he had nothing to lose. I see NR, as most likely do, having a great challenge ahead of him to best LH, but at the same time I see hm as thrilled to have the equipment to take up the challenge, and at this stage especially, knowing that there is everything to play for with so many races to go, and likely pace yet to be found.

      1. He could have improved more on his second last flying lap, but he carried too much speed into turn13 and then to make up for that he exceeded the breaking point of turn 14 thereby locking his front left. He could have been on the first row if not for those mistakes and as a result much better chance of catching Lewis tomorrow. I agree with you that he have a huge challenge to best LH, and that’s why he needs to have a clean lap even more because LH will not be giving him too many chances.

        NR needs to grab every opportunity he is offered and capitalise on it just like FA did in 2012 to be in championship fight, otherwise LH will be this year’s WDC.

        1. Redbull are coming.

          1. Well all I can hope for is NR keeping in contention for the championship fight and that’s why I was bit disappointed after his qualifying in Chinese GP because most of the time he cracks under pressure situations.

            As for RBR resurgence, its wet qualifying which is making them look good. In dry they still have a lot to catch to come upto Mercedes level. But I agree they are the second best team right now.

  5. should i say it? “team orders?” lol

  6. Nico is usually without airs but this is nonsense. Bottom line he was too slow and messed up trying to go quicker. Dash display doesn’t enter into it.

    1. @dmw

      Dash display doesn’t enter into it.

      If it tells him that he was two tenths down on his previous lap, then that does explain perfectly well why he put everything on the line in a desperate attempt to go faster….
      I don’t see the need to criticize him for it.

  7. spun on his last qualifying lap because he mistakenly believed he was not on course to improve


    From Q1 to Q3 Nico was just not on Lewis’ pace.

  8. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    19th April 2014, 19:04

    I sometimes get the feeling that he just doesnt fight until the end. he takes it sometimes too calmly and is not bothered by things, no passion… while hamilton wants to eat up the world, the track, the championship…
    to me that´s going to be the difference…

Comments are closed.