Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa, 2015

‘Just lucky’ I didn’t hit the wall – Rosberg

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa, 2015Nico Rosberg says only luck kept him from hitting the wall when one of his tyres failed at over 300kph during today’s second practice session.

“It wasn’t down to my skill,” said Rosberg, “it was just luck that I stayed out of the wall”.

The Mercedes driver did not speculate on the cause of the failure when speaking to reporters after the accident but said he had no indication the tyre was about to fail. “It was quite a shock in the first moment because I just don’t expect it,” he said. “Suddenly at 306kph you just lose control – not good.”

Pirelli stated via its Twitter account that “investigations into what happened with Nico Rosberg’s tyres are ongoing: we’re analysing it now to understand exactly what occurred.”

Rosberg was quickest in both of today’s practice sessions and despite the scare believes he has the upper hand over his team mate at the moment.

“It’s going well for now, it’s been a good start to the weekend,” he said. “I’m feeling comfortable.”

“At the moment I’m sort of one step ahead of Lewis [Hamilton] and that means that tonight he’s more likely to take over my set-up than vice-versa because he’s a bit unsure, that’s usually the tendency, you know. So it’s always better to start the weekend like that.”

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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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31 comments on “‘Just lucky’ I didn’t hit the wall – Rosberg”

  1. “It wasn’t down to my skill,” said Rosberg, “it was just luck that I stayed out of the wall”.

    Nobody thought it was mate. Sorry obvious joke.

    1. People are often quick to both praise and blame drivers depending on the outcome when most of the times they are just locking up the brakes and riding it out after they loose control.

      Maldonado and Ericsson gets all the blame for slamming into the wall after loosing control but they basicly did the exact same thing as Rosberg did.

      A really good save was Hamilton last race when he went into the gravel after avoiding Rosberg, he kept focused and managed it perfectly to get back in the race with a intact car but he aint exactly praised for those lightning reflexes.

      1. They get the blame for losing control in the first place, target than for hitting something after they did.

        1. Yeh and thats my point. Rosberg gets praised for a good save becouse it wasnt his fault that the tyre blew up even though that has nothing with the “save” to do.

          1. Well he did lock his brakes which at least made his trajectory a straight line. I think some people remember webber some years back who spun and then released his brakes and then collided with other car. Had rosberg lifted his foot off the brake pedal he would have probably ended in the wall as well.

            One of the basic advice when something happens and you spin in a race car is to know the phrase “if you spin, both feet in”. Locking the brakes keeps your trajectory straight line which also allows others to avoid you.

            Here is the webber crash:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ljex5VGyzWQ#t=195
            That was borderline intentional on webber’s part imho but still shows that there is a skill to just locking down brakes when you spin. No matter how utterly basic skill it is it is still skill.

          2. Yeh good point. When out of control and orientation lock the brakes, let go of the wheel, brace for impact and wait it out. Still thats not a good save.

      2. @rethla

        “Maldonado and Ericsson gets all the blame for slamming into the wall after loosing control but they basicly did the exact same thing as Rosberg did.”

        No, they didn’t do “basically the same thing” as Rosberg did nothing. His tire blew.

        1. Finally someone said this. +1

        2. Plus, they slammed into the wall. Drivers make their own look and I think Rosberg is being modest here. He’s mistaking reacting instinctively for look. His actions still kept the car out of the wall, Maldonado and Ericsson didn’t and that’s the difference in class of drivers.

          1. Have to agree. Rosberg acted instinctively, just like Maldonado and Ericsson, except he managed to keep it out of the wall.

        3. If Rosberg did nothing then who locked his brakes?

          1. Controversy confirmed.
            Mercedes is actually driving the cars remotely by the pits. The real driver is Lauda.

  2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    21st August 2015, 15:24

    Is this another Silverstone ‘tyres on back to front’ scenario?

    1. No just high track temps and the cars have more power and downforce than last year so tyre performed is now more on the limit.

      The pressure and camber guidelines just need tightening.

      1. If the tyres can’t handle high track temps and the cars having more power and downforce, there’s something wrong with the tyres…

        1. @fullcoursecaution @philipgb @paeschli There has been something wrong with the tyres since 2011….. That been the absurd high degredation philosophy which has caused many of the tyre related problems!

          people can blame camber, tyre swapping & pressures all they want but the fact will still remain that teams had been doing all of those things for decades without any problems. It was only when tyres were designed to degrade that these things began causing problems which calls into question the entire high degredation philosophy.
          since 2011 its been tyres, tyres, tyres with absurd artificially generated degredation, operating windows, failures, questions about safety & ridiculous levels of tyre management which its quite clear the vast majority of people from fans to drivers have had enough of.

          Time to do away with using tyres to artificially spice things up & let’s go back to proper racing tyres that can be pushed without fear of some form of negative consequence. I don’t care if its pirelli, michelin, kumo or whoever wants to supply tyres… lets just go back to letting them make tyres geared at full on performance rather than deg!

          1. @RogerA

            I agree with all of that 100%

            Very pleased Nico is okay. I have spectated at that corner and that must have been totally terrifying.

          2. RogerA, actually, I would disagree with the idea that it is solely down to the tyres being designed to degrade, because there have been situations where tyre manufacturers have imposed restrictions before. I believe that, back in 2009, Bridgestone privately imposed restrictions on inflation pressures after Rosberg had a major blowout during pre-season testing caused by Williams running the tyres significantly below the recommended minimum inflation pressure, so it is not the first time that it has happened in the sport.

          3. Comment of the day?

            No – this is comment of the last five years!

            Well done laddie. A quiet year last time round in case they trash another years racing simply does not make up for these type of issues.

            We all saw the footage… You want to play with getting your name mentioned again during a contract bid war? Do not choose Spa and Monza and thus ruin two great races to do so. Be circumspect and sensible. I still have not forgiven Pirelli for 2013. And before you lot start… They really don’t have to build tyres that explode just cos the contract says degrade. All of this is a very clever negative marketing campaign that like it or not, is working.

            If this year ends up being decided on ridiculously fragile or whatever spec that give eleventy nine pit stop tyres and therefore via Pirelli yet again…

            Well that’s it after 40 years frankly because I will have had enough. I am sure I cannot be alone.

  3. “It wasn’t down to my skill,” said Rosberg, “it was just luck that I stayed out of the wall”.

    Honest admission!
    I experienced a blowout in much lower speed and almost needed a change of pants :)

  4. Why is everyone so focused on “It wasn’t down to my skill” part?

    1. Because it’s Rosberg and people love to bash Rosberg on this forum. Everybody thinks he’s a bad driver because he has the bad luck of going up against one of best drivers in Formula 1 at the moment in the same car + there still miles ahead of the rest of the field.
      It’s sad, because he has been doing a good job in his two years of actually being able to contend for a world championship (pressure, attention, ….), whilst Hamilton has been doing that from the beginning of his career.

      Ps: I respect both Hamilton and Rosberg + acknowledge that Hamilton is more talented as well ;-)

      1. @gdewilde I think because it was an open goal. This has nothing to do with Rosberg.

        1. Oh really? If it was Hamilton’s comment, nobody would even think about highlighting that specific phrase. I am 100% certain of that

  5. if you managed to see the back facing camera on Rosbergs car it truly indicated the tyres webbing “long white thread” coming loose then the tyre tread sliding over towards the car over the top of the inner side wall just before it flew apart,
    how that come about is anyone’s guess, it maybe a one off, or it could be to much pressure..

    1. Right… Yet I and many others can race at similar speeds and hear of such say every five years.. Actually I have had it happen at 130+ at Coft but it’s a one off. It’s not considered 50% of the championship skill – ie getting crap tyres to the end of the weekend. And we have one single set for the race day!

      Come on folks – as soon as I heard Pirelli we’re bringing softer than last years tyres to this race, I knew we would be seeing a sudden increase in ‘Pirelli’ talk. Great marketing. Crap racing.

  6. I still think Nico wins “Save of the Day” – commiserations Mr Ogier.

  7. Maybe just a dickie tyre?

  8. i think keith should include what the reporter actually asked that made rosberg answer it that way

    1. I don’t think it’s unclear now though is it? It’s just the choice of words people are finding amusing. I don’t think any preceding context could change that.

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