Rosberg puzzled by “bad” tyre set in Q3

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg was bemused by a problem with his tyres in Q3 which left him struggling for rear grip.

Rosberg and team mate Lewis Hamilton were separated by hundredths of a second or less in Q2 and Q2, but when it came to the top ten shoot-out Rosberg ended up over three-tenths of a second behind his team mate.

“I was really on a roll,” said Rosberg afterwards, “I was feeling good, and the end just didn’t come together at all.”

“Just struggling with grip and this and that. It didn’t work out and we need to analyse now what it was. I had less rear grip on the first set, especially, because it was a good lap but didn’t go much quicker than that so that’s disappointing.”

Rosberg’s radio messages after his first run in Q3 revealed his team had some indication his first set of tyres in the session would be “poor”:

Q3Nico RosbergTony RossI didn’t have grip on the rear. No grip on the rear.
Q3Tony RossNico RosbergOK copy that Nico. That was the worst tyre set for you in the former two. So we expect the next set to be much better.
Q3Nico RosbergTony RossSo what do you think on front flap?
Q3Tony RossNico RosbergI would say where we are at the moment is still good.
Q3Nico RosbergTony RossYeah but I have too much oversteer. We think we just go with it, hope the tyres get better, or what?
Q3Tony RossNico RosbergAffirm at the moment, Nico.

Although Mercedes expected Rosberg’s second set of tyres would be better, he was unable to improve on his time of 1’14.702 from the first run.

Rosberg questioned why there was an apparent difference in the performance of new sets of the same super-soft compound – but that was a conversation the team preferred to have off-air:

Q3Nico RosbergTony RossWhat a rubbish end of the qualifying.
Q3Tony RossNico RosbergCopy that, Nico, copy that.
Q3Nico RosbergTony RossWhy – how do you know which set is bad and which set is good? I mean… OK, we discuss it afterwards.
Q3Tony RossNico RosbergYeah that’s the best thing to do, Nico.

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    28 comments on “Rosberg puzzled by “bad” tyre set in Q3”

    1. Maybe this is that payback some people suggested from 2 weeks ago? I kid of course!

      1. Lol Consipracy Galore !!!!!!

      2. Hamilton, went to garage and did mark the tyres for Nico.

        Post-It on the tyre said:
        “This is the best ever tyre to be used in Q3, if you have any problem with it, just adjust the front wing, or add abit of Red Bull into the steering fluid”

    2. Why – how do you know which set is bad and which set is good?

      My thoughts exactly. Martin Brundle was also intrigued by that.

      In fact, we still are, me thinks.

    3. I think Tony Ross said “uniformity” in connection with the test.

    4. Graham (@guitargraham)
      6th June 2015, 21:03

      what an odd thing to say, especially over the radio

    5. Easier for Mercedes to give his turbo a lag than use the tyres.
      The tyres are never exactly identical they have to test each set and decide when to use them.

    6. Mercedes wanted Lewis to be on pole, so they cock up again, but this time with Nico’s tyres.


    7. DC explained it on the BBC feed. The tyres are a hand assembled product with the rubber compound hand rolled on the the tyre carcass. Due to this there is a slight variation to each tyre even though they are within tolerance. The tyres are then made into sets at the track with the FIA and as such are supposed to be randomly picked.
      When the teams receive their alication the tyres are balanced as best they can be but you can find that some sets can be more accurately balanced than others due to the variation from manufacturing as such you use your best sets in race and in final shootout qualifying.
      In final qualifying it most likely the case of the first set of tyres weren’t as accurately balanced as the final set rosberg used.

      1. Ah, thanks. Nico didn’t know then, I wonder if any of the drivers do.

      2. Yep, thank you very much, excellent info.

        And yeah, I wonder if Nico of all people didn’t know about it then is there anybody else who do. [Or ‘does?’ Hm, English skills need polishing.]

        I mean Rosberg is known as one of the most knowledgeable drivers out there with great attention to detail particularly in technical things. Even he didn’t know…

        I guess this is also what @lockup alluded to above me.

        1. Vettel was the one driver who went to visit the Pirelli factory apparently @atticus-2, so my money would be on him if any of them. But I suppose it shows how compartmentalised a big team is, and maybe since they didn’t think he needed to know it gives us an insight into the engineers’ view of the drivers: “Just another tool” is one I’ve heard :))

      3. Thank you very much for this explanation.

    8. Now imagine something like that happened to Hamilton….

      1. Frenzy…. then demands to sack Totto, Sack Paddy lowe, Sack Dieter Zetsche…..

        Nikki Lauda ordering an investigation… Lewis Upset and stopping his car on the track and taking a ferry back to the Hotel…. Pitwall pleading him to comeback for interview…..

        100s of comments here !!! LOL !!!!

        1. Somebody kill somebody

    9. LOL that was too weird. I mean it was as weird as Monaco pit I think. If there was a bad set of tyres, you would use it on Q2 or something, not on the banker lap.

      1. Errrr… If you use it in Q2, you have to use it for the start of the race…

      2. Q2 tyre is the one they have to wear on the grid for the race, so the first attempt in Q3 is still the best time to use a “bad” tyre (whatever that means)

    10. whats mean “copy” in team radio comunication?

      1. It’s an acknowledgement – it’s basically shorthand for ‘I received and understood your message’.

      2. It’s a bit less confussing than using ‘over’.

      3. The same as “Hoo-ah” in the US Army — Heard and Understood.

    11. Maybe Lewis was just faster, no matter what tires Nico had available to use.

    12. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff remained mum about the puzzling radio call made to Nico Rosberg after the German lost all rear grip in a compromised Q3 lap, where the pitwall radioed Rosberg about his set of Pirelli supersofts being the least ideal.

      Wolff initially shook his head and asked for any other questions from assembled press at the Canadian Grand Prix before slightly explaining. “Well we stopped that radio call right before we were about to elaborate it. We have quite a sophisticated way of analyzing it, very scientific.”

      Rosberg had little more to add on the topic of tyre analysis, but detailed his reasons for being unable to assemble a better flying lap after exchanging his pair of options for a better set.

      “It was just a lack of grip on the rear on that first set of tyres, and I had to adapt to the first set,” Rosberg said. “I took off some front wing, but the grip came back normal on that second set, and now I had a bit of understeer because of those adjustments. On the first set I had massive oversteer, so I had to do what was in my control.”

      Wolff backed his driver for making such adjustments, stating that the theoretically miniscule differences between sets of tires necessitated adjustments to the setup as a whole.

      “Scientifically, the difference between tyre sets is minimal,” Wolff said. “Nico had to make adjustments based on that.”

    13. pxcmerc (@)
      7th June 2015, 6:42

      I guess those special match tires never got put on his car.

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