Rosberg says he cut chicane to avoid tyre damage

2014 Italian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg said he decided to cut the chicane during the Italian Grand Prix because he didn’t want to risk locking up his tyres and having to make an extra pit stop.

Rosberg’s two mistakes ended up handing the victory to team mate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton. It prompted speculation from some that he had done so deliberately to repay Hamilton after ruining his race at Spa.

But Rosberg said he had simply done the sensible thing to avoid ruining his race.

“For me, of course, a disappointing day,” he said in a video on Monday. “I just messed up: Lewis was quick and so I had to step up my game a little bit and tried to get that little bit extra out of it and then messed up and locked up.”

“I could have made the corner but then the risk is so big that my front tyre would be square from the lock-up. So the safer way, the best way and the only way was to just go straight on, safe so I don’t have to do another pit stop to change tyres.”

Hamilton gave the same explanation for his team mate’s driving after the race.

Rosberg said the result was “not a disaster” because he only lost seven points to Hamilton in the championship. “I’m still ahead, now looking forward to Singapore and I want to extend the lead there again.”

Mercedes finish first and second for the seventh time this season at Monza. “That’s the result that the car deserves also,” said Rosberg. “Our car is so dominant, again in Monza, great to see.”

2014 Italian Grand Prix

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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...

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38 comments on “Rosberg says he cut chicane to avoid tyre damage”

  1. Rosberg clearly being cautious to keep racking in points, minimize “damage” on a weekend when Hamilton was clearly the faster driver, surely with an eye on the championship. I hope they take this to the last lap in Abu Doublei (or maybe rather one race early, so Abu Double won’t make a difference?)!

    1. With the gap between the two Mercedes drivers so close, I think it will matter. Good for Hamilton – but to be honest I’d rather it weren’t there even if it would benefit my championship bet

      1. Although my inner sense of karma would be somewhat restored if Hamilton won the title through benefit of double points, It would be a horrendous day for F1, for the legitmacy of the title and ongoing views of Hamilton’s career.

        It’d just be easier if he won the rest of the races in the season. (£1 accumulator bet anyone?)

      2. if ROS were ahead by >25 points going into abu dhabi, it would be a travesty if HAM took the WDC due to double points. I hope he would be truly embarrassed to win in those circumstances knowing that it wasn’t real.

        1. It’s not too bad, it makes up for his bad luck through car failures and whatnot. I believe HAM has been the better driver this year and therefore deserves the championship.

          1. Exactly, the points structure is always artificial so you can’t say it’s not real. Everybody knows the rules and the points on offer at each race and adapts their strategy to maximise their own points. All sports are a game, and double points in last race is the same. Drivers would be wise to be planning how to maximise everything for that day.

    2. I hate double points as well, but…. it would be also unfortunate for Lewis to lose a title only for reliability reasons even though he will maybe have 3-4 more wins than Nico. I’m always rooting for the driver that has more wins rather than the one who collects points and not risking as much. If Nico receives advices from his father then it explains his driving in Monza, which is not a bad thing for himself of course. I just hope that there won’t be any more reliability issues that would determine the outcome of the WDC.

  2. Formula Indonesia (@)
    8th September 2014, 12:24

    He look like very cautious after Spa, come on that was only a racing incident, rosberg shouldn’t worried too much because he can lose the title

    1. @f1indofans Here is the most accurate observation about what happened in Spa. I loved his style on and off track. It’s a pity that he didn’t stayed in F1, but then again hearing him it explains why he left in the first place. Too much politics and the journalists always fueling the non exciting problems. Just boring. More off track stories then on track.

  3. Mercedes has scene it’s share of bad PR over the past few months, and I am afraid that is issue will end up being added to the fire. First, one always wonders when a driver makes the same mistake twice in one race, in particular when they are not under great pressure. But the big question will be regarding the comment about flat spotting the tires, and “having to make an extra stop”. Lewis must not have received that message because his right front was locked for better than twenty feet, and not once did we hear about vibration etc. Not sure that it’s related to anything from the past but Nico didn’t seem like he really wanted to win, but rather just to finish second, but I am probably reading too much into it like everyone else that watched the weekend unfold.

    1. Yeah, but hamilton did that lock up with 2 laps to go, not 25. Even if his tyre was damaged, with only 2 laps to the finish, he wouldn’t stop for new ones.

      1. Exactly. The suspension and driver can survive 2-3 laps of vibrations but not 20+ laps. Rosberg’s lock up at Spa must have played into his mind.
        The team could easily give him cold tyres at his stop to make him lose position to Hamilton.

      2. you guys are correct, my point is that there was no need or reason to bring up the “have to pit” comment in the first place. doing so only gives people more room to talk about the offings. no driver would come in even with 20 laps left, unless they desperately have to, otherwise they would try to make do. on the other hand, you don’t make driving decisions on what your team tells you might happen, otherwise Lewis would have remained 2.5 seconds behind as suggested.

    2. I think we’ve seen from Rosberg this season just a desperation to finish and score some points if the wins not there. He knows consistency can win out over race wins across the course of a season long championship. I think worrying about damage limitation and accepting the win has gone is entirely in keeping with his character.

    3. If you look at the comments from Toto Wolffe and the reactions to Rosberg’s race, it’s pretty obvius to me that he,(Rosberg), was told to let Hamilton win. Rosberg showed everyone that he could win if he had wanted to before making a couple of ‘mistakes’ to allow his team mate through. We haven’t seen Rosberg make these kind of mistakes before, therefore only one conclusion can be made. If you watch the body language of Hamilton after the race, I believe there’s a ‘got one over on you’ about him and Rosberg was not happy with the situation as he didn’t even congratulate Hamilton when he got out of the car in parc ferme’.

      1. Rosberg made that same mistake under pressure from Hamilton on canada. But there, he gained time instead of losing it as there weren’t barriers like in Monza. He missed the braking point and went full throtle outside the track.

      2. We have seen him make a similar mistake – in Monaco during Q3. Either that was a mistake as he said, and then it is also possible that the Monza mistake was genuine, or he was being cynical in Monaco, and would anyone that cynical really make a deliberate action to allow a competitor through?

    4. It’s very simple, Hamilton was catching him like he was chained to a post, Rosberg panicked—he made a big change in is brake bias and attemped to do the only thing you can really do at Monza to go quicker: brake later. But he couldn’t mentally compute how to adjust his braking point and pressure and lost the corner. And also think of Rosberg’s mindset:1. He has a healthy points lead to preserve and 2. he has been making mistakes lately. He is thus in a very conservative mindset. Indeed, he really only needs to beat Hamilton once more to hold on to the trophy, so that really is his plan now—get those 18s.

  4. Nice to see he tried – apparently – to chill out some yesterday evening.

    1. I think in his videos he is being sincere. You can see the “regular person” . he seems nice. Other story on the track. He has to be though.
      Good for Nico. We just want to see an intense but fair competition between ROS and HAM,not like years before between VET and …… know…
      Thanks Keith for sharing.

  5. Makes sense given this is a high speed track where any vibration would really be felt for much of the lap(s), coupled with the fact that the tires were durable enough that most were just doing one-stoppers so an extra stop would never be made up just by having new tires. And yes it helps that NR is in a position to do damage control and settle for this day for second place points against a teammate who was faster all weekend, as acknowledged by NR.

  6. I think Rosberg should have been penalized, he cut on purpose 2 times the chicane straight, no intention of doing the hairpin. I think they shouldnt have allowed this, because this is a clear cut of the chicane, and we always said that 1 cut of the chicane is yellow card, 2 cuts means drive & through. So i dont understand why they allowed him to do that. Dont understand the change of criteria when they want. Is normal they booed him at the podium, he does un porpuse things he shouldnt be allowed to do. Hit hamilton, do the cheat in monaco, cut the chicane straight 2 times here and there…

    1. Rosberg, intentionally or not made the image of cheater for himself this season.
      Making a mistake and preventing Hamilton of fighting for the pole in Monaco and all happy out of the car moments later. Cut the chicane flat out and going out of DRS range on Canada, causing a collison on Belgium, accusing Vettel of cheating, again on Belgium…

      I understand all the booing. It isn’t for nothing.

    2. I think Rosberg should have been penalised

      As I noted in the race report and on Twitter, Rosberg did exactly what drivers were told to do in that situation, to the very letter. The stewards therefore had no justification to give him a further penalty.

    3. Cutting a chicane is against rules only if it makes you go faster. Quite obviously, slaloming between the barriers did not make Rosberg faster (he lost some 2 seconds there), so there was nothing to penalize for.

      1. @ph I agree that he didn’t actually gain position or speed but (I know it’s already a cliche) what if there was a wall instead of a shortcut? He would have to either slow down harder than he did and lose even more time than he lost by driving slalom or he would crash. So it’s debatable if he did gain or he didn’t gain time there.

  7. Ok, can some one clarify something for me. After Spa it came out that Nico basically decided to let the contact happen “to prove a point” now i can understand nothing was done because it was a private meeting etc. Now after watching the vlog he says “i could have made the corner”. His reason for not doing so, to not flat spot his tyre. I’m sorry but how is that not breaking the rules. I thought you could only cut chicanes for safety, this is just to keep his tyres round.

    I know in the end he lost out because of that mistake but i am getting so sick of seeing him do things that should at least be investigated but literally nothing pops up and you see someone like Magnussen getting penalties left right and centre at the moment.

    1. I thought you could only cut chicanes for safety

      I don’t know what rule you’re thinking of here.

      1. @keithcollantine

        20.1: A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.

        What does the FIA mean by “justifable reason”?

        1. @francorchamps17 I expect braking too late for a corner would count! As I recall that rule was brought in to stop drivers short-cutting parts of the track to get back to the pits more quickly during qualifying sessions, as Vettel did in South Korea one year if I remember correctly.

          Keep in mind drivers were told to do exactly what Rosberg did if they went too deep at that corner (see previous comment).

    2. I don’t think he let the contact happen to prove a point, I think he stayed in place to prove that he wouldn’t be bullied by Hamilton and it led to contact because it was clumsy. I think the prove a point bit has been misinterpreted. Besides, the only point he actually proved was that he doesn’t really have what it takes to prove a point like that. He tried to stand up to a guy and failed, andmoment! has now made two errors, one unforced, the other under pressure from the guy he was trying to stand up to in the first place, and to cap it all he’s getting booed for his trouble and the whole world is siding with the other guy, who usually isn’t that popular! Even a full on speech in Italian on the Monza podium was completely trumped by just two words from Hamilton, said to rapturous cheers! Rosberg might be ahead in the championship, but he must be so low at the moment!

  8. Cutting the chicane at Monza doesn’t give an advantage.

    1. yep) it makes you take an extra turn))

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    9th September 2014, 5:37

    It’s such a shame that we have double points in a year where the title battle is so close.

    1. @tophercheese21
      what if HAM and ROS arrive in Abu Dhabi equal on points? I think in that case double or not, it won’t matter

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        9th September 2014, 10:56

        Well yes if that were to happen, then it wouldn’t be a sham. But the chances of it happening are close, if not 0%

  10. Well, it’s certainly better than to cut tyre to avoid chicane damage.

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