Rosberg laments pre-qualifying engine change

F1 2015 season

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Nico Rosberg has described being forced to change his Mercedes engine back to a previous unit ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix as “very disappointing”.

Rosberg will line up fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s race after being out-qualified by his team mate and both Ferraris in today’s qualifying session.

The Mercedes team were forced to change Rosberg’s engine to the unit previously used in Spa after discovering an issue with the new specification power unit installed in the car for this weekend.

“We’ve had to go back to an engine that’s done six races now,” says Rosberg.

“Every kilometre you do, you lose a little bit of power and especially at Monza, which is the ultimate power track and where you need a good engine, it’s very disappointing to have it happen here.

“It’s a really big compromise and that’s the reason why I’m fourth today, which makes the race tomorrow tough. Also, I will be a bit slower in the race which is not ideal and it will be difficult against those Ferraris.”

Despite Ferrari appearing to make up ground on the Mercedes this weekend, Rosberg believes the gap closing has more to do with Mercedes limiting their performance than Ferrari improving theirs.

“I think today it was more us that had turned down a bit,” Rosberg says.

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    10 comments on “Rosberg laments pre-qualifying engine change”

    1. So, how long before the first conspiracy theory is posted?

      1. @tdog

        I’ll bite> :-)

        Mercedes know very well what is wrong with the engine. Out of precaution they have changed Rosbergs engine so he will be capable of finishing the race. Unlike Hamilton whose engine will blow up during the race.

        You know, because a German team has a preference for a German world champion.

        1. haha that’s a good one.

          What if it is Bernie punishing Nico for speaking out against his beloved Pirelli? Nico was pretty nice about how is spoke out so Bernie decided to just handicap him a bit…but Seb is in for it tomorrow. Maldonaldo’s record for most penalties in a single GP will be under attack from Seb once Bernie has a word with the stewards :)

        2. And the other theory…Mercedes has clearly seen that Lewis is and should be the #1 driver. Putting Rosberg on the old worn out slow PU sends a clear machine that Lewis is numero uno! Designating Rosberg as #2 clears the path of the German teams favorite English son to a second straight title.

          What a tangled web!

          1. @trublu How do you get machine and message confused…?!

    2. A shame indeed. But seeing the previous races I doubt he would have been in contention for the pole or the win tomorrow.

    3. All customers are using this old PUs.

      1. Probably not one that has done six races already though.

        1. Nope, all apart from Hulkenberg are on new Melbourne-spec engines.

    4. It’s obvious Nico is annoyed by the engine change, but what really hurt him was his sector 2 time, which Lauda stated was because Nico wasn’t happy with his car’s setup. He should have been 2nd really.

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