No drop-off in Vettel’s times before tyre blow-out

2015 Belgian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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[interactivecharts]Sebastian Vettel’s lap times prior to his tyre blow-out gave little indication that he was in serious trouble with his rubber.

Vettel was attempting to complete the race without making a second stop for tyres and was on his 27th lap on the same set when his left-rear tyre failed without warning.

The Ferrari driver’s best lap of the race was a 1’55.316. He lapped within a second of that through his entire stint on the medium tyres,with the exception of the Virtual Safety Car period and lap 39, three laps before his tyre collapsed at the exit of Raidillon.

After the race an angry Vettel defended Ferrari’s strategy and said it was “unacceptable” the tyre failed. Pirelli claimed the tyre blew due to excess wear.

2015 Belgian Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):

Lewis Hamilton117.421116.039116.017115.782115.735115.722116.18116.122116.44117.096116.828117.073121.494128.998114.938114.679114.861114.827115.241115.751137.948128.694115.33114.673114.315114.55114.88114.443114.844120.323127.623113.893113.188112.504112.766112.748113.774113.973114.125114.131114.222114.799115.397
Nico Rosberg121.269116.746116.292116.42116.695116.149116.726117.298116.194116.292116.589121.136128.295114.948114.264114.664114.638114.921115.454115.736137.663127.776115.676115.326115.194115.24115.08114.798114.971116.163120.17125.678112.669112.416112.559112.511113.556113.96113.806114.122114.073114.134114.178
Valtteri Bottas121.47118.359116.793117.281117.42117.702118.358124.316130.342116.794116.498116.565116.373116.578120.787124.233116.692116.367116.158117.186152.626129.969114.646115.732115.42114.787114.907114.834115.71114.903114.899115.183115.079114.942115.11114.841114.978115.34117.543115.491115.316116.758116.141
Sergio Perez118.864116.197116.477116.408116.767116.894117.398122.276130.75116.369117.143116.262117.055116.753116.389116.311116.761117.296117.409123.737162.366116.959114.809115.35115.141115.369115.114115114.796115.355115.696115.642115.364115.031115.519115.893115.622116.045116.168116.377117.62118.454117.178
Daniel Ricciardo119.95116.263116.429116.453116.417116.785121.699130.249116.739116.463117.569118.162117.262117.035117.154116.331116.448118.08116.757
Felipe Massa123.254118.074116.968117.413117.948118.673118.346119.074122.936130.819116.237116.266116.424116.687116.1116.075116.404117.104116.43116.654149.69129.009114.093114.738114.935115.158114.866115.075114.907114.83115.46115.139115.488115.18115.361115.767115.821116.212115.852117.466116.48118.398117.859
Pastor Maldonado122.29
Sebastian Vettel121.92117.106116.388116.867116.676116.737116.652117.346117.179117.459117.478118.217117.926122.971128.622116.128116.184116.008116.115116.348142.634124.049115.397115.386115.808115.765115.856115.551115.316115.523115.432115.443115.497115.761115.884115.711115.52115.696116.407115.949116.116183.554
Romain Grosjean122.796117.588116.854117.237117.497117.478118.374117.878122.271129.016116.25115.666116.19116.167115.981115.513115.391115.818116.311115.769143.889132.318114.957115.076115.414115.731115.311115.628115.617116.019115.194115.043115.299115.004115.333115.311114.779115.397116.189115.915116.311116.254116.341
Carlos Sainz Jnr138.254117.446117.826122.09132.067118.435117.638117.546117.273117.051117.655117.04117.183117.172117.625117.053117.675149.555118.208117.51119.092123.779129.008114.68114.803115.302115.392115.637116.046115.343120.801
Nico Hulkenberg
Daniil Kvyat124.633117.907116.706117.52117.581116.529117.741119.742123.005130.916116.364116.288116.186116.762116.296116.257116.771116.546116.253116.933146.893121.92116.326116.743116.751116.307120.629127.039113.032113.835114.054113.834113.564113.78113.806114.216114.244116.229115.87115.55113.965115.574114.982
Marcus Ericsson123.837118.173118.55118.735119.243118.614118.758119.863123.476133.458117.65118.053118.188117.771117.515117.689118.454117.544117.27117.991150.955116.892117.984117.122117.387117.197116.948121.677131.235114.022114.847114.776114.483114.787115.13115.537114.984115.525115.453115.474115.523116.385116.466
Felipe Nasr127.794120.918117.999119.867119.403119.377119.304119.982121.265125.666132.149116.888116.667117.074117.626117.837117.653117.463117.595122.902146.932116.97117.222117.045117.649117.227121.768127.596113.991114.57114.49114.634114.814115.379115.572116.075115.88115.421115.079116.245116.917117.525118.268
Will Stevens130.804120.954121.458121.053120.782120.803121.053121.678121.982122.041122.17121.908121.719121.858122.366126.491133.655118.941119.281137.421132.816120.889119.303119.448119.33119.298119.3121.395119.939125.474134.082119.217118.15118.447118.388118.374118.469120.34120.081118.834119.377119.019
Kimi Raikkonen126.321117.466117.964117.963117.344117.401117.684118.616118.82117.035122.307128.635116.655116.313115.81115.987116.247116.852116.389116.881149.88129.22114.543115.426114.57115.205115.121115.194115.195114.517115.182115.063114.817115.273115.626115.527116.505116.048115.899116.592116.381117.934117.682
Roberto Merhi128.761121.686121.276120.956120.513120.812120.782121.598121.383121.689121.841122.218122.011121.987126.602133.561119.413119.543119.67136.116134.07119.822121.377119.132119.367119.412119.336119.195125.604133.863118.904118.174119.226118.622118.291118.18118.224118.196118.26118.351120.608118.805
Max Verstappen125.805117.181118.205116.651117.45117.752118.086119.109123.13133.412116.835115.914116.645116.185116.045115.828116.629116.405116.411116.792149.328129.037114.839115.329115.22115.51115.344115.325115.712115.499115.621120.032126.277113.425113.389113.276113.46113.73115.023114.074113.876114.95117.717
Jenson Button127.527120.81120.798120.759120.081120.603120.33120.96121.102121.761125.341132.927119.03118.854118.709118.382119.218118.913119.345132.974148.503116.901117.028117.671117.682117.565118.827117.454120.627118.014118.28119.674118.944119.076123.412129.569115.869115.533116.003116.242118.331118.154
Fernando Alonso127.088119.61119.196119.487119.864119.348119.326124.154131.646118.971118.674118.552118.642118.348118.149118.158119.021118.496118.33127.629153.685115.522116.338116.706116.844116.938116.47116.579117.029117.034117.986121.603131.203113.692116.343117.827116.038116.543115.741116.844117.403116.808

2015 Belgian Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’52.41634
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’52.5040.08834
3Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’53.0320.61629
4Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’53.2760.86036
5Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’53.6921.27634
6Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’53.9911.57529
7Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’54.0221.60630
8Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’54.0931.67723
9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’54.5172.10130
10Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’54.6462.23023
11Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’54.6802.26425
12Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’54.7792.36337
13Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’54.7962.38029
14Sebastian VettelFerrari1’55.3162.90029
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’55.5333.11738
16Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’56.2633.8472
17Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’58.1505.73433
18Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’58.1745.75832
19Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes2’02.2909.8741
20Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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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42 comments on “No drop-off in Vettel’s times before tyre blow-out”

  1. Its Vettel’s fault
    he should have slowed down prior to explosion to make Pirelli look good

    1. Actually he should have slowed down. Its kind of a no brainer that we can’t detect a drop in lap times. Why? Because their strategy was a one stop from the beginning. He was nursing his tires to the end. He was driving to a delta.

      Notice his fastest lap time is only two tenths faster than the fledgling McLaren.

      Just because he was running conservative lap times does not mean his tires weren’t worn out.

      If this was a any other track w/ the exception of Monza, he would be ok.

      Have you guys seen a slow motion picture of what happens to the rear tires as they go through Eau Rouge? Google it and tell that won’t destroy a worn tire.

      The combination of Eau Rouge stress, but mainly the laps on tires, running over curbs and the rotational heat generated on the Kemmel straight peeled the rubber off.

      There is no fundamental problem with the Pirelli tires as evidenced by all the other cars. Ferrari gambled and failed. Vettel also started pulling away when Gros got close. He was hitting Eau Rogue very hard to make sure Gros couldn’t get a tow….and pop went his tire. Well actually delaminate than pop ;)

      1. Its kind of a no brainer that we can’t detect a drop in lap times.

        Sometimes, I think that your posts here are just to joke, no one knowing just a little about F1 can say those things with an straigth face

        But I suppose that you know more about degradation and lap times that Lotus, Force India, the Ferrari engineers that have said that there was no degradation.

        Or perhaps you know more than the Pirelli guy in the Ferrari pit that said nothing about degradation.

        But don’t reality stop your bashing

        1. No deg??? Hows that possibility. Is Ferrari running regenerative tires that spring back to life after each lap?

          News flash, once the tires hit the ground, degradation begins. How quick that deg occurs is what varies based on use.

          Keith is trying to show through data that Vettel never reached the “cliff”. I’m trying to point out you won’t see a cliff because he was nursing and driving to a delta the moment his stint began. His deg was gradual over a very long stint. Tenth here and there. Then Gros started catching at about 7/10 per lap. He was losing nearly a second per lap to Gros. When Gros caught up, He started taxing his high mileage tires to escape Drs plus the tow to Gros. Started hitting Eau Rouge and Kimmel at maximum attack. That’s what killed his tire. Looking for a cliff in lap times or tire deg won’t tell you the whole story. Sad thing is people are knowingly ignoring all the contributing variables. Focus is all the blame on Pirelli because they personally don’t like their tires, don’t like that they are the sole supplier and would rather see robust tires that don’t degrade and last pretty much an entire GP.

          1. I noticed during the telecast around lap 39 that VETwas really working hard to stay clear of GRO – squirreling his rear end off the kerbs – perhaps compensating for the dropoff in all round grip by pushing much harder out of the corners.
            Perhaps Pirelli need to engineer the “cliff” back into the tire construction.

  2. This clearly shows that something was wrong. Either Sebastian ran over debris or the tyres have some problem and not tyre wear like Pirelli said.

  3. I think there is a problem with the construction of tyre. Rosberg’s tyre unraveled. Vettel’s tyre just blew out before the end of its life.

  4. Both Rosberg’s and Vettel’s tyres look like they disintegrated. That’s not normal stuff.

  5. Never talk to Fernando before the race ;)

    1. why what happened?

      1. Seb was chatting with Fernando before the race, and you know the rest :)
        It was like a curse lol

  6. ït’s crazy how even he was, lap time shows no sign of the tyre giving up. at least not in the way it did.

    1. Maybe because he’s great LOL

  7. I think the fault belongs with Ferrari because the tyres were old. You can see bits of tread thrown off the tyre as Vettel had just past the apex of the corner, just about the time you’d expect there to be peak load on the tyres.

    1. @drycrust

      Even if the tyres are old, they should have a drop off in performance, they should not explode.

      1. They didn’t explode, the tread came off the tyre.

      2. My current thinking (that means I could easily be wrong) is Vettel was using some sort of “diff lock” that caused the inside wheel on that last corner to spin at the wrong speed compared to the road. If the inside wheel failed to spin at the wrong speed, then failure is highly likely. If Ferrari used a “diff lock”, (as they did in 2003) I can’t see why they still didn’t use one this season. The important point is there is an alternative explanation as to why this tyre failed other than “pure chance”.

        1. If Ferrari used a “diff lock”, (as they did in 2003) I can’t see why they still didn’t use one this season.

          You can’t be serious

    2. I think the fault belongs with Ferrari because the tyres were old.

      Strange, the lap times don’t say that

  8. Last year in Singapore, when Bottas worn out his tyres just before the end of the race, he’s just lost all the grip, nothing blew out.
    They’ll keep blaming each and no one will change anything.

  9. I’m really looking forward to this week’s radio transcript article. Seemed at one point Vettel was skeptical of the one stop strategy himself.

    1. I am sure he was sceptical because he feared the drop-off, not an exploding tyre.

  10. He was doing some fantastic lap times for 27-lap tyres. And defending very well against Grosjean. It would have been one of those masterful combination of unorthodox strategy and great drive. I would have been so great. It would have :(

    1. +1 It was great imo. Not his fault really.

  11. It seems like the relevant question here is: how is a team supposed to know when they have to worry about tire degradation resulting in catastrophic tire failure?
    As near as I can make out, Pirelli indicated that 40 laps was the maximum for a set of tires. Vettel was only at 70% of that figure. If conditions at the track modified that recommendation, Pirelli should have said so before the race.
    The other indication would have been tire degradation. Lap times and other indications of competitive performance were well within normal standards.
    I have given Pirelli much slack on their tire performance because they were directed to produce a tire that degraded for competitive reasons. However, having two catastrophic failures in one race weekend is another issue.
    Pirelli claims that that the Rosberg’s failure was due to an offtrack excursion, debris, or the Mercedes design. There is no evidence for any of these propositions.
    Vettel is pissed about the situation. As it was his ass on the line at 190mph, I don’t blame him.

    1. Yeah, especially considering the track temp, which dropped therefore reducing the Tyre wear.

  12. From other site:

    Alain Permane (Lotus): “If Pirelli tells us the tyres last 40 laps, they can’t possibly blow up after 28 laps. For us a one-stop strategy was only a backup plan, but we considered it as well.”

    Andy Green (Force India): “If Vettel’s tyres had been worn out, he’d have come into the pits. As soon as the rubber is worn below 30% the lap times go up by two to three seconds and tyre temperatures drop from 140°C to 110°C. You’re driving on ice in that case, you won’t even get anywhere near critical wear. Your team would call you in long before that happens.”

    Maurizio Arrivabene (Ferrari): “A one-stop race was our plan A. We decided that at 11am, using the data the engineers had collected during the practice sessions. There was a Pirelli engineer standing in our garage and he wasn’t just chewing bubblegum. He would have intervened if the data had shown anything suspicious. Our strategy was aggressive, but not risky.”

  13. I think I know how Rosberg grabbed a second out of Hamilton at VSC.

    So lap 21 the VSC is switched on – they do around the same pace (Hamilton slightly slower) lap 22 it’s switched off I guess and Rosberg is 1 second faster, because he has more lap remaining to go quickly around than Hamilton does, what with him being further ahead.

    So my guess is that Hamilton slowed down more aggressively than Rosberg on lap 21. Hamilton SHOULD have been an even 1 second faster when the VSC turned on (same affect as on lap 22 but in reverse, Hamilton would have covered more ground on that lap than Rosberg at high speed before needing to slow down) but he was actually slower.

    I wonder what the rules are on how quickly the drivers need to slow down after the vsc lights come on. Perhaps Hamilton needs to review that!

    1. Or are the deltas only active from when you pass a sector start point… In which case the system is inherently ‘flawed’ although probably still better than a full sc

  14. Pirelli’s official statement is the maximum number of laps one should drive on the medium tyres was 22 laps at Spa, Vettel exceeded that number, therefore one shouldn’t be surprised the tyre failed.

    1. Pirelli told the teams tyre life for the medium tyre was 40 laps at Spa for the race this year, Lotus have confirmed this as well as Ferrari. They did not tell the teams the maximum number of laps was 22.

      If Pirelli genuinely believe that 22 laps is the safe tyre life for the medium why did they tell the teams that the medium tyres can do 40 laps?

      Dragging out an old proposal from 2013 is a weak excuse from Pirelli. If the idea was rejected in 2013 Pirelli know this and should have factored this in to their decisions on tyre manufacture and selection.

      1. I meant to add it is 2015 now not 2013, Pirelli know the requirements of their remit from the FIA and the teams.

    2. That is quite brazen of Pirellli to change their stance from 40 to 22 laps on tire wear after the fact. Hembry shouldn’t have said 40 laps if he didn’t mean 40 laps.

      It is amazing what hindsight grants you Pirelli. Very convenient that Pirelli try and make it appear as if they were against a 30 lap stint, let alone the quoted 40.

  15. I don`t know, but looks like I am the only person perplexed by that alonso`s fastest lap. I was wathcing the live timing and I could not believe my eyes as I saw him make that laptime, especially when I saw his next laptime which was (if I`m not mistaken) 1 sec slower and then 2,5 sec slower than his fastest…. then he drove around at 1 min 55 sec….. could someone please explain where did all that pace come from all of a sudden, and where did it go afterwards?

    1. Good question: how is it he did a 1:53.7 laptime?

    2. This might sound weird but I’m happy about his lap time. For me (and it’s just my opinion) it shows that the Honda engine does have inherent speed. The problem is that their ERS is not even close to being consistent though. Honda appear to be having real problems between harvesting and deployment from what I can see.
      Again this is just my opinion.

    3. My guess is there is some sort of error in the timing system because the previous lap was extra slow. Yes, I know that shouldn’t make any difference, but it looks like a similar thing happened when the virtual safety car ended (the lap time was faster than the next one).
      No, I have no idea as to how a timing mistake like this could occur, but that is all I can think of. Maybe there is a problem with some data being “buffered” at some location around the track when a whole lot of cars rush past, and that it takes a few seconds to get from the track to the timing computer.

      1. Duh! Happened after he pitted and got new tyres! Looking at some other drivers, it seems it wasn’t only Alonso’s car that did this, other cars did this too.

    4. i know why he set such a fast lap… he got out and pushed again!!

      1. hahahahaha :)
        It would be much funnier if it wasn’t sad.
        I was kind of hoping that someone would say it’s because mcHonda aren’t showing their true potential unitl next year, when their pace will be mindboggling. they’re going slow because they don’t want to alarm the competition of their super-mega-good engine

  16. Alonso 5th on fastest laps!

  17. Surely if Pirelli could design a tyre to drop off performance when worn to a certain level, they could and should have allowed for a good safety margin from the drop off point to a total tyre failure. What happened was the other way round. So it must either be a design fault (that they underestimated/miscalculated the stresses of this circuit) or a manufacturing fault (which caused the premature failure). There is no tyre war, so why risk pushing safety to the limit. I find myself agreeing with the drivers on this occasion, it is simply unacceptable when you consider the potential consequence of a high speed blowout.

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