Rosberg stays ahead before high-speed tyre blow-out

2015 Belgian Grand Prix second practice

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Nico Rosberg remained the quickest driver in practice at Spa-Francorchamps but his session was shortened by an alarming high-speed tyre blow-out.

Rosberg was running the soft compound tyres in the second half of the session when he right-rear tyre exploded on the run from Curve Paul Frere to Blanchimont. The car slewed sideways at one of the fastest points on the track, but came to a rest without hitting anything.

The cause of the failure remains to be seen, but signs of damage had become visible on the inside shoulder of the tyre earlier in the lap as Rosberg approached Les Combes.

The session was red-flagged while the Mercedes was recovered, and restarted with 15 minutes to go. But it came to a stop again minutes later with Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily at Pouhon after losing control of his car in the middle of the corner.

During the final five minutes of running Romain Grosjean’s Lotus came to a rest on the approach to Pouhon with what appeared to be a power failure. He put the car a strong seventh, two-tenths of a second behind Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg who set identical times to within a thousandth of a second.

Daniel Ricciardo was again the closest rival to Mercedes, but this time he was three-quarters of a second off Rosberg’s mark.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’49.385 19
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’49.687 0.302 23
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’50.136 0.751 15
4 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 1’50.399 1.014 18
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’50.461 1.076 23
6 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’50.461 1.076 21
7 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1’50.489 1.104 21
8 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’50.709 1.324 18
9 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’50.928 1.543 24
10 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’50.940 1.555 23
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’50.971 1.586 21
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’51.037 1.652 24
13 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1’51.117 1.732 25
14 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’51.250 1.865 25
15 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1’51.317 1.932 16
16 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’51.588 2.203 26
17 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’51.854 2.469 16
18 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’52.570 3.185 14
19 28 Will Stevens Manor-Ferrari 1’54.065 4.680 17
20 98 Roberto Merhi Manor-Ferrari 1’54.253 4.868 14

Second practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’49.385

+0.302 Lewis Hamilton – 1’49.687

+0.751 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’50.136

+1.014 Daniil Kvyat – 1’50.399

+1.076 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’50.461

+1.076 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’50.461

+1.104 Romain Grosjean – 1’50.489

+1.324 Marcus Ericsson – 1’50.709

+1.543 Felipe Nasr – 1’50.928

+1.555 Sebastian Vettel – 1’50.940

+1.586 Sergio Perez – 1’50.971

+1.652 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’51.037

+1.732 Max Verstappen – 1’51.117

+1.865 Valtteri Bottas – 1’51.250

+1.932 Pastor Maldonado – 1’51.317

+2.203 Felipe Massa – 1’51.588

+2.469 Jenson Button – 1’51.854

+3.185 Fernando Alonso – 1’52.570

+4.680 Will Stevens – 1’54.065

+4.868 Roberto Merhi – 1’54.253

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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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18 comments on “Rosberg stays ahead before high-speed tyre blow-out”

  1. Mclaren didn’t get any faster…

    1. Yeah so much for matching Ferrari.

      At this rate, they will be lucky to qualify in the top 10 by the end of the year!

      1. These japanese people are hillarious! Thank God the guys at McLaren weren’t as optimistic, because these timings are terrible. Let’s see what happens on qualifyings.

      2. They were 2 second faster than both m-Ferrari.

    2. @eggry they did, but in reverse!

    3. @eggry

      You need to give credit where it is due. Arai said they aim to match Ferrari’s pu performance.. And they did.
      Honda looks like they’ve come really close to matching the performance of the 2014 Ferrari pu.
      Good job Honda! Mission accomplished!

  2. Are teams forced to use Pirelli cambre angles or are they still running with extreme camber angles like in 2011 or 2013?

    1. @paeschli, teams aren’t forced to run anything, but Pirelli do still regulate minimum/maximum camber angles and tire pressure.

      1. Are there penalties if they don’t follow the recommendations?

        I don’t get why those rules aren’t enforced after what happened at Silverstone two years back.

      2. @me4me The teams are now forced to run those recommendations as there regulated by the FIA rather than just a recommendation from Pirelli as they used to be.

        1. Thanks for the clarification.

          At least Pirelli can’t blame the teams anymore like in 2011.

    2. @paeschli There still forced to do what Pirelli tell them to.

      As to the extreme angles of 2011/2013, Tyres put up with them for decades without issue until Pirelli were forced to make high degredation tyres.
      When your trying to constantly artificially forced degredation your compromising the construction of the tyres by making them softer than they really should be so that they fall to pieces to create the wear.

      Teams were able to get away with running high camber levels, low tyre pressures & swapping them because the tyres were all solidly built pre-2011 so easily withstood all that. Pirelli been forced to create degredation has done nothing but cause problems, time to abandon the high degredation farce & return to proper racing tyres that can be pushed to & beyond the limit safely!

      1. Another comment of the day x 4 years!

  3. That Visual Gap widget is fantastic :)

  4. Well I don’t think that maclaren’s times were bad at all … They have improved a lot … We shouldn’t expect miracles to happen !

  5. Wow, Red Bulls are showing that Hungary wasn’t a one-off! They are consistently ahead of both Ferraris

  6. Sandbags at Williams?
    Or are they just crap here?

Comments are closed.