Rosberg says he didn’t need Hamilton’s spin to win

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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Lewis Hamilton piled the pressure on Nico Rosberg during the Brazilian Grand Prix, setting the fastest lap and recovering a seven-second deficit at one point.

Nonetheless Rosberg believes he would have won even without Hamilton’s spin on lap 28.

“I was confident, yes, definitely,” he said afterwards, “because already in the first stint I could see that I could control the gap and could just make sure that Lewis didn’t come into the region where he could launch an attack.

“So from that point of view, once I saw that, I was very confident that I could keep on controlling the gap for the whole race.”

Rosberg said he used the opportunity provided by Hamilton’s spin to save his tyres, which was why the gap came down between them during the third stint.

“When Lewis had the spin and was further behind, I saved more tyres than I normally would have done and so that I could just make sure that at the end of the stint I had enough, because it was so critical on tyres today and that worked out really well too.”

On the lap before his spin, Hamilton produced the fastest lap of the race up to that point, seven-tenths of a second quicker than the previous best. After his second pit stop he took 1.7 seconds out of Rosberg in two laps, then consistently chipped away at the gap between them by up to half a second per lap.

But Hamilton couldn’t find a way past in the final stint, and the pair circulated almost as one, occasionally setting near-identical lap times.

Brazilian Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’13.55562
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’13.6190.06462
3Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’13.7280.17370
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’13.9990.44468
5Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’14.0180.46368
6Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’14.0700.51563
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’14.1010.54659
8Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’14.1440.58962
9Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’14.2290.67464
10Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’14.3130.75855
11Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’14.5440.98962
12Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’14.5500.99570
13Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’14.7741.21965
14Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’14.8101.25547
15Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’14.8341.27942
16Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’14.8751.32064
17Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’14.9631.40837
18Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’15.3871.83230

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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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40 comments on “Rosberg says he didn’t need Hamilton’s spin to win”

  1. Wow, all the drivers’ fastest laps were within two seconds of each other. It’s a shame it wasn’t this close all throughout the race.

    1. @ladekoya you can even say 1.5 seconds given that Daniel obviously had more time in hand on new tyres (he’d have pitted one more time before retiring).

      The short track helps, or maybe they were all racing to the capabilities of the tyre

  2. Yeh right, he controlled it so well that there was only 0.5sec between them when Hamilton came out after their last stops. With 1 lap undercut and 7sec before that, it’s poor from Rosberg to now say that.
    Had it not been for strategists keeping Lewis out for 2 laps, he would be asking himself again where was his speed.

    1. Hahaha!

      What he means is: “I’m embarrassed Lewis was able to close a 7 mins deficit in the same car so quickly.
      I don’t know where he gets the speed from”.

      1. @supremacy well, not quite a 7 minute deficit – at least in F1 terms:-)

  3. Hmm I would beg to differ but then we’re never going to know, A well deserved win nonetheless & restrengthens his title chances.

  4. This time I don’t believe in Nico, if Lewis didn’t spin, because the lap he did was a 1.14.3, which was 6 tenths quicker than Vettel’s lap, which was the fastest up to that point.. If Lewis didn’t spin, he most likely was to rejoin ahead of Nico. Definitely, Lewis paid the price with that spin..

    1. yep if he had come out ahead there would have been no way back for rosberg as hamilton was quicker, just couldnt get close enough to overtake.

  5. Lewis would have won the race without doubt if he had not had that spin. There would have been no gap for Nico to ‘maintain’ as he would have been chasing from 2nd place.

  6. “So from that point of view, once I saw that, I was very confident that I could keep on controlling the gap for the whole race.”

    I wouldn’t call letting Hamilton within half a second ‘controlling the gap’, one little mistake and he could have passed.

  7. Rosberg may be right, but only because of a strategic error from Merc. Lewis had the gap he needed after one lap, having taken all of the life out of his tyres on that single lap as he thought he would be in that lap. Merc told him to do one more lap, there was no life left in the tyres and he spun. Even without the spin, he probably wouldn’t have held the gap he needed so Rosberg may still have been ahead, but had Merc called Lewis in a lap earlier he would have easily come out ahead and Rosberg would not have won.

    1. I totally agree with you Jake. Would be interesting to hear or see the transcript of the radio messages of both Mercs drivers and the team; esp. Lewis’s. Lewis did say… you told me to attack then my tyres went off…(or words to that affect) after that he wasn’t interested in over taking Rosberg and settled for second – I think he felt the snide was in already. Yes he’s going to blame himself. Before the race Nico did say he needed something from his team mate. lets see if he gives me something. I wonder if that little something was the extra lap that saw Lewis spin off.

  8. We’ll never know for sure, but maths don’t add up, really. Lewis was just about to leapfrog Nico after the stops.

    But I’ve got to say I didn’t expect Rosberg to stay ahead once Hamilton got within a second. 10 laps or so with both nose to tail, I was just expecting Lewis to pass just like at Austin or Suzuka. But he didn’t, kudos to him for hanging on there

    1. Austin has a very long straight which makes it easier. Brazil doesn’t so you have to be really close before the DRS to make an attack. And the middle sector you need downforce which you lose when you follow someone so close, so Nico used that opportunity to build a small gap which ensured Lewis wouldn’t be close enough for DRS. Abu Dhabi though is a different track with a very long straight so if this was Abu Dhabi DRS would have definitely helped Lewis overtake.

      1. I disagree. I even feel it’s easier to overtake at the Brazilian main straight (which is not really straight but about as long as in Austin). We did see quite a lot of highway passes yesterday, more than in Austin. The last corner before the straight is faster in Brazil than it is in Austin, making it easier (in Brazil) to stay close to the one in front and overtake.

        1. Not when you have identical cars with equal strength in the same area. The race was won during qualifying effectively.

        2. It was difficult to overtake even SLOWER cars on OLD tyres.

          That is what saves Nico in the end.
          “After deliberately allowing Lewis to be 0.5 secs behind…. :D”

  9. Rosberg finally won a race again. A much needed boost for the final battle in Abu Dhabi.

    But Hamilton outpaced him so grossly, he was so insanely faster that this boost Rosberg got for the win meant little. Or nothing.

    Hamilton will be WC, and i hope he improves his game on qualifying for next year. If it wasn’t for his not to good Saturdays, the title would already be his, even with double points in the last race.

    1. Why was NICO swearing when he left the podium??????

      1. Nicole stole the show.

      2. Nico was swearing because actually the plan didn’t work. Keeping Lewis out that extra lap and his engineer (or whoever was on the radio to him) telling him to push, knowing full well the tyres were at their end was a calculated ploy to see Lewis crash out of the race totally and wipe-out the deficit between Nico & himself. – Nico would be a point ahead and a only a win in Abu D would, for either driver would snatch it.; I believe (regardless of accusations of “conspiracy theories”) Lewis was not suppose to finish that race – full stop! FAILED PLAN – hence the swearing…


    2. I doubt that Nico has the most poles this season, and Hamilton has the most wins. That tells me that Saturday wasn’t the reason for Hamilton not locking the WDC, but the several car failures instead. Breaks, engine and so on…

      1. brakes*

    3. The difference between Ham and Ros in quali and race is interesting. Hamilton is generally so much quicker in the race, it almost seems as though he is deliberately sacrificing his quali pace to be quick in the race.

      1. He probably runs a setup that is better for the race but loses him out on quali, though I doubt this because the margin he loses out to nico is so little that it just proves Nico is better preparing himself on Saturday.

      2. Lewis has never been the “qualy king” as many have suggested. He is good, but not excellent. The reason why people thought he was good in qualy was because all his past teammates were not that good in qualy. He was for example matched with Alonso in 2007 qualy. The same Alonso whose qualy pace is regarded as his weakest point. It is his race pace that is excellent. Just like Alonso, it it his ability to adapt his technique as the race progresses that sets him apart. The ability to push to, but not beyond, the limit, while saving tires and fuel. Rosberg, Botton and Vettel will only excel within a certain car behaviour bandwidth, outside of which their speed drops.

        1. You must give credit where credit is due: Nico Rosberg is excellent in producing nearly perfect laps, whether they are in qualifying or in race trim. He has done so in several races. But over the course of a complete GP, Hamilton is usually better/faster.

          1. I have no idea why you think I don’t give Nico the credit? Or would you prefare me to say it explicitly? Lewis is a good qualifier, but Nico is a step ahead( not by much, mind you). He is up there with Vettel. Race trim is a different story. Nico, like Vettel and Button struggle to drive around problems and general car dynamics thought out the race. Lewis and Alonso are the best in this regard. This is why Alonso found it hard to beat Lewis back in 2007 because they have the same strengths.

        2. Lewis has often said he never considered qualifying one of his biggest strengths. Plus I believe Mercedes have spend time trying to solve Rosberg’s braking issues but Hamilton hasn’t complained about anything much since he often drives around problems.

  10. I think clearly the adrenaline is affecting his thoughts. the spin cost Lewis around 6 seconds and Rosberg wasn’t ahead by 6 seconds after Lewis’ stop. Nico will not win the title because he cant beat him in a straight fight

    1. @scuderia_fan85
      He beat him in a straight fight in both Austria and today in Brazil. He also beat Lewis in a straight fight many times in 2013.

    2. Rosberg was actually 7.5 seconds ahead after Hamilton went for his pit stop.

      To win Hamillton would have to leapfrog Rosberg on that stop. If not, the only difference it would make is the number of laps that he’d be less than a second behind Nico and not able to do a thing.

      1. Rosberg was actually 7.5 seconds ahead after Hamilton went for his pit stop.

        However much it was, Sky’s analysis after the race put HAM just ahead of ROS if he had not done the extra lap.

        To win Hamillton would have to leapfrog Rosberg on that stop. If not, the only difference it would make is the number of laps that he’d be less than a second behind Nico and not able to do a thing.

        I believe HAM would have passed ROS even if he had come out just behind. 20 extra laps of nose-to-tail battles would likely have brought about a pass. If not, HAM would likely have put in another stonking lap just before his pitstop as he was released into clean air, which would have likely put him just ahead just after.

        I believe that a strategic mistake by Merc cost HAM the win. This is just my opinion.

    3. What exactly counts as a “straight fight”. This statement would have made more sense before yesterday. Nico was P1 in FP, Qualy and the race and Lewis never had any problems. The fight yesterday was as straight as can be and Lewis came second best.

  11. Rosberg waa indeed managing the gap, it’s true that Lewis recovered seven seconds but in the end he couldn’t attack as it was clear he had no more tyre life.

    1. @fixy
      You seem to be mixing up the stints here.

      Nico’s ‘intelligence’ told him it’s better to maintain a 0.5 sec gap than 7.2 secs one?
      Very ‘intelligent’ indeed!

  12. Amazing that a sport can generate so much paranoia in a person’s opinion and that such concocted stories are generated to support the situation. GO Nico GO, Thanks, Norris

  13. This statement makes no sense. He was managing a cap that became non existent? There was no cap at the end of the race. If he was managing it he would have left a cap and not having the other breathing down his neck.

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