Power loss compromised Rosberg’s start

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Nico Rosberg lost the lead at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix because of a loss of performance from his power unit.



Comment of the day

A valuable perspective on the lesser-spotted Mercedes of Suzuka:

I don’t see much of an issue with the relative lack of Mercedes in this race to be perfectly honest. We saw them when we needed to (pit stops, when Rosberg was racing with Bottas), But for the rest of the race they were largely on there own while there was a lot of very close, very good racing that was far more worthy of been shown. Going back to when I was at FOM working on the TV (from 1997-2007), The coverage philosophy was always to show the best racing regardless of where it was.

If The Mercedes were racing closely and we were not seeing them then that’s a different issue, But today apart from the times we did see them what was the point in showing them rather than the good racing that was been shown?

Even when Vettel was closer to Rosberg late in the race it was still a one to two second gap and what was been shown at that time was Perez right on the back of Ericsson with a possible overtake far more likely so that was the correct battle to stick with. If Vettel had gotten closer and an overtake had looked likely then as was the case with Rosberg and Bottas early on they would have likely switched to it it.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brian Munene and Spencer Ward!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alan Jones clinched the 1980 world championship title on this day after tangling with rival Nelson Piquet at the start of the Canadian Grand Prix:


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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

48 comments on “Power loss compromised Rosberg’s start”

  1. Clearly when one team dominates so much that more than half of the field is lapped halfway through the race there will be complaints and conspiracy theories. F1 will never win the prized US eyeballs with this buffoonery.

    1. True. Plus it highlights that a proper television organization should produce the world-feed. It would earn the teams quite a bit more money and result in a balanced portrayal of imagery.

  2. Rosberg had the type of failure that would have sparked the conspiracy theories had it happened to Webber.

    I’m still trying to understand why Mercedes pushes its cars so far. I mean, was there a need to upgrade the engine with the advantage they already have? Is there a need to run so tight on engine/brake cooling and have overheating problems when they run in traffic? They compromise the reliability more than they need to.
    Everything they learn will help them in the future but it’s not like they need to force that much, Ferrari have a long way to go to catch them.

    As for Alonso, the man knows exactly what he did, and I truly believe he did it on purpose because it was Honda’s home race.
    As much as RBR gets burn for speaking bad of Renault, Alonso has been trashing his last three teams (Mclaren ’07, Renault ’09, Ferrari later years) publicly, and now he is doing it again with Mclaren a second time.
    He is obviously frustrated but it’s ridiculous how easily embarrasses the people he works with. An amazing driver but awful team player. I would not like to work with him.

    1. @jons

      was there a need to upgrade the engine with the advantage they already have?

      They believe Ferrari are already on terms with them on pure engine power so I would say ‘definitely’.

  3. @Gt-racer makes a good point, if the leader is several seconds ahead, holding the gap and under no pressure then any action further down the field should take priority on the world feed.
    Saying that, there were plenty of crowd shots and the like during the race, I wasn’t timing them but it felt like there were several minutes worth of footage of hats, flags, and at least once a crane at the side of an empty track. And given the choice I’d rather see the leader, ideally an on-board if he’s one of the designated cars, than any amount of funny hats, crowd scenes, or (my personal least favourite) shots of driver’s wives and girlfriends.

    1. @beneboy hehe, there was some very good 20 seconds of zooming in and out of the harpin tarmac for no reason. That was just shocking to watch :P.

      I thought: “It’s around 3 am here, and I’m watching tarmac”.

    2. ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
      28th September 2015, 2:58

      Spot-on @beneboy! An on-board (if available) would’ve been great, or even focus on them when coming through the field (I think I spotted Rosberg).
      Less than 6 minutes – of which half was the obligatory start and final lap – is too little by any measure.

      I agree that we want to see good fights in the mid-field. But that doesn’t need to be all the time; if we miss a good move then it can be shown in a replay. e.g. the best move IMHO was Verstappen trying to overtake Alonso on the outside of 130R, which we only saw in the replay.

    3. @beneboy,@fer-no65,@coldfly, Did you watch the MotoGp, during a battle between Rossi and Pedrosa for p2 as Rossi made a lunge to pass Pedrosa the producer decided to show the crowd cheering, meanwhile Pedrosa had lunged back into the lead, the battle continued for several laps with the position changing half a dozen or so times and the producer still keen to focus on other things.

      1. @beneboy,@coldfly,@hohumdu I didn’t watch that but I can imagine. I still remember TV directors showing Sutil’s girlfriend every race for at least 5 minutes until last year. Jeez that made me angry!

      2. Where did you watch MotoGP? I did not notice that on Eurosport.

        1. @xtwl, I’m in Oz, still waiting to watch the F1 highlights.

      3. That moto gp race was incredible, and the directing infuriating, where do they get these guys!

  4. I understand saying “this is a GP2 engine” isn’t the most constructive comment you can make. But for all I know, Alonso and Button are hardly robots, and how else can they vent their frustrations? I’m sure Ron and Honda resctric them them hard during Press Conferences and PR stuff, the content and the manner of their declarations must be thoroughly constructed by both Jenson and Fernando and the team.

    During the race, somehow, for the sake of sanity, they have to speak up their minds. I was actually ashamed, embarrased, watching the way Jenson got overtaken by Max and Felipe Nasr yesterday. He was the Zonta of Hakkinen and Schumacher. But down in 13th place, and for position. Just imagine how Jenson felt at that moment.

    The way they were being overtaken was horrible, painful to watch. And the car is sort of there, you don’t qualy half a second off Q3 in a properly downforce track with such a power disadvantage like that. But on the race, they were being eaten for breakfast!.

    I agree it wasn’t the most professional comment ever. But the fact that those 2 guys show up every race, say the things they say after every retirement, fight hard for position as long as they can, that’s a lot more professional than some of the things McLaren and Honda do. Sponsors are lacking, performance is no-where, reliability is missing and there seems to be no cure for any of that, not even in the mid-term.

    And the worst thing is that it was true. For what it’s worth, that engine is probably on level with a GP2 engine. At least the GP2 engine is cheaper and it doesn’t break every fortnight.

    1. Which would be great and all were it not for the fact that these drivers get paid millions upon millions to do something which most people would kill for. With those millions you had better make sure that you act like the professional they pay you to be under any circumstance, especially when everybody is working hard to improve the team and is in the same situation. This was a direct insult to Honda which you should never allow as a team because it jeopardizes everything, sponsors, engineers, investors. The money spent on two champions who are now openly complaining to the world in stead of focusing on the team, is better spent on Vandoorne and someone else to help the team forward. Yesterday was another case of Alonso in particular showing the world that he is more interested in himself than the team. And if Button has the guts to ask for a 4 million dollar salary raise whilst the team is struggling just shows you where his loyalty lies in the end. Good riddance I say, they had their chances.

      1. “And if Button has the guts to ask for a 4 million dollar salary raise whilst the team is struggling just shows you where his loyalty lies in the end.”

        No one is racing for charity here. It is simple supply and demand.
        And speaking of “loyalty”, McLaren have been far less loyal in the way they’ve treated Button these past two yrs, considering the pain he’s had to put up with.

    2. @Fer no.65 Let’s also keep in mind that it is F1/FOM that picks the communications we get to hear, so isn’t it interesting this was one of them. Hand picked controversy for the sake of the headlines by F1. They could have easily have left that comment unheard by the public. If Dennis is ticked at FA for his ‘unprofessionalism’ what does he think of the ones in charge of airing whichever radio comms they do?

    3. According to Daily Mirror Jenson would be transferring to Lotus/Renault next season and Vandoorne or some other guy would replace him at McLaren.

  5. Here are some interesting tid bits which could be considered common sense.

    1. The motors are designed to operate at speed, their radiators filled with oncoming air. Even my own motorcycle will start to overheat if I am standing still at idle, and any engine/intake that is running hot will have less O2 (charge)/power vs one that has cool air and whose internals are running ‘with in the desired operating range.

    2. Lewis intentionally slows down to let his teammate’s tires cool off, he will also back up the field to keep people from having him sit on the grid longer than others, nothing wrong with that, but maybe the FIA can find a rule to fit that behavior….zzzzzz.

    Nico’s power was marginally less than his teammate, but he didn’t risk taking Lewis out, and Lewis knew he could push his teammate because Nico plays too nice and expects Lewis to do the same, this is not the case. I am sure Nico will start getting a little tougher in the races to come, hopefully.

    1. it’s also worth noting that in Monza, Merc were tending to have lower pressure in the rears and in this race, Pirelli prescribed a lower minimum change in the rears vs the fronts, and in Singapore, the rears were 2psi more (change vs last year) vs the fronts being 1 psi more. It is also worth noting that Button wasn’t happy with the PSI alterations, and depending on how the weight of the car is distributed, changing the pressures unevenly, could benefit teams differently. I am not surprised Merc didn’t have problems this round given, Pirelli’s choice for this circuit, but if Pirelli ask for more pressure in the rears next round, Ferrari might be a big benefactor, even if they lose.

      1. Everything noted! Now what?

    2. Nico plays nice? Really?

  6. Unfortunately, nothing can be done until the off-season when they can fix their energy harvesting problems. I almost certain they’ll be further up the grid next year but for the last few races, they’re gonna have to put up with this sort of stuff.

  7. funny to see the F1 pod with Janne blomqvist :)

  8. Having commented on the McHondas higher trap- speed through p3 than all the Renault powered cars, I can only assume that Honda demanded a low-power setting for the race to prevent the embarrassment of engine failure during the race. May not have worked out quite as they hoped.

  9. I watched bbc so I can wonder where the fuss about the air time started, well I’m being unfair, everything starts with sky and only then exists. I think the coverage was absolutely normal.

  10. It’s frustrating to see that despite Stoffel Vandoorne’s strong performances in GP2, he will probably at best, have a reserve driver role next year. The McLaren Young Drivers’ Programme is becoming a dead alley quickly. In fact, all the junior teams bar Red Bull have failed so far.

    1. Everytime I see F1 and the McLarens struggle it hurts me thinking Vandoornes best option is McLaren at it’s worst. He should have gone to other teams by now.

    2. @wsrgo I agree with you, I have never been a fan of Red Bull but you have to admit that no other team has created a better young driver programme so far.

      Is McLaren the right place for a strong rookie to be though? The team seems to have lost its way since 2013 and the big sponsors just don’t want to come, despite all the Ron’s promises. According to BBC’s article, ‘Honda is so far behind that very few people in F1 believe it will ever catch Mercedes’. I hope that I am wrong but my feeling is that McLaren is on a downward spiral now and might never fully recover.

      1. @girts Depressing to hear that, but I’m not surprised. Honda’s PU is really, not too much better than Alonso put it yesterday, comparing it to the GP2 Mecachromes.
        As for Vandoorne, he’s also not been helped with such a static driver market. His only hope now is Lotus, but the group’s links were ART are long dead and buried.
        If only Ferrari hadn’t taken Raikkonen, if only they hadn’t influenced Haas to take Gutierrez (looking likely).
        Damn Ferrari. As much as I hate to say it, everything ends up being their fault :P

    3. I think that is good for him if the team gives him free practice runs.
      When you are thrown immediately to an F1 season sometimes it gets too hard to adjust. If he does a year following the team around and some practice runs to familiarize himself then he could have a nice first year in 2017.
      Look at how Force India and Williams manage to have drivers with relatively successful entrances to F1 by following this model.

  11. The fact that many seem to believe that Mercedes cars had to be shown more yesterday is more worrying than Ecclestone’s potential “revenge”. I doubt if even Mercedes bosses’ and shareholders should be happy if TV spectators miss good racing and have to look at a lonely Hamilton instead. Such a “preferential treatment” of the leading team would only support the belief that ‘F1 is boring’.

    I agree with @gt-racer; what did we really miss yesterday? After the start, Hamilton never raced anyone and the same could be said about Rosberg after he got past Bottas and Vettel. The second pit stop? Hamilton had a significant advantage and Mercedes’ pit stops are usually impeccable so it was unlikely that something decisive would happen there. Perhaps they should have shown a replay of the start from Rosberg’s perspective but that is about it.

    Even if Ecclestone was indeed ‘trying to make a point’ by showing the Mercedes cars less than usual, we should demand more TV coverage like we saw yesterday. That is, less lonely drives, no girlfriends and more actual racing, no matter if it happens between Hamilton and Vettel or between both Manors.

    1. @girts That’s missing the fact that Hamilton admitted in interviews that he was nursing several car problems, including temperatures like Rosberg.

      Of course, we don’t know if Merc themselves invented said problems as a smokescreen for domination, nor do we know if FOM deliberately ignored them to create their own narrative.

    2. I agree with you that we probably didnt miss much yesterday but that is not the point. The point is that this was quite clearly some sort of statement aimed at merc. Its petty and ridiculous. Sure, there is no need to fovus constantly on a guy so far out in front and maybe it was a good thing…. Its just this isnt how a race is usually covered. The start was particularly poor. Im not sure what the message is but it is a message of some sort. Ive always stuck up for bernie but it does seem that f1 has become his play thing.

      1. With regards the amount of TV coverage Mercedes got during the Japanise GP, I don’t think it was an intentional thing directed at Mercedes at all. In fact I don’t think it had anything to do with Mercedes. It was about Redbull.

        I noticed during the qualifying coverage that instead of seeing the usual fast laps from Mercedes and Ferrari, throughout the sessions the coverage seemed focused on Redbull, whether it be the main team or the Torro Rosso’s. The same could be said for the race feed. Rather than focusing on what was happening at the front, we saw a lot of Redbull, be that chasing a Sauber, Chasing a ForceIndia, Watching Verstappen come through the field or watching Sainz. Somewhere in most of the battles covered was a Redbull branded car.

        Which is convenient after all we heard about during the week beforehand was their intention to leave F1 if they didn’t get a competitive engine. I agree that it was definitely Bernie playing games, just not with Mercedes.

  12. I know it’s been a bit doom and gloom recently, but if things go right F1 could get very good for next year.

    We could have a Red Bull with a competitive engine, perhaps even able to compete with the Mercedes and Ferrari works teams, who with any luck will be in fierce competition next year, we could have the return of Renault as a team, Honda might be stuck now, but at least they know what needs to be done and the thing mainly holding back is Tokens. And we could have Manor running Merc engines rather than uncompetitive 2014 Ferrari engines. Plus Haas, which lets face it, will likely be competing with Manor, but is unlikely to immediately leave because of the groups racing heritage.

    You know what? I’m excited for next year.

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      28th September 2015, 10:40

      The problem is, I’m always excited for “next year”! Next year will no doubt be the same…

  13. From the title I assumed Rosberg had some technical problem on the car but “Power loss compromised Rosberg’s start” seems to come down to “Poorly executed warm-up during installation lap compromised Rosberg’s start”?

  14. That Alonso article on the Beeb is Classic Benson… Which is rubbish.

    He’s a pretty poor journalist who make Eddie Jordan look like Martin Brundle.. Come on BBC!

    1. That’s your opinion. Want to back it up?

  15. The funniest thing about this whole Mercedes thing?

    Stop trying to have a word with FOM and maybe have a word with your 2nd driver (I emphasise the ‘2nd’ part) – if he stepped his game up and challenged Lewis like he did through a lot of 2014, then you wouldn’t have this problem.

    That’s what happens when you have one driver in another league to the other.

    Check out the Bahrain 2014 Mercedes coverage stats…

    1. A competition yellow like that Bahrain race would’ve fixed it. Nicely timed safety car to clear up all the perilous wreckage from the Bollard of Death.

      I think you’re right about Rosberg – wonder if like other nearly-men (Massa, Webber) he’s had his shot at the title and will never quite reach those heights again.

  16. I said when it was 1st announced that the AUSGP will not run on the 3rd of april. Can we please run a poll on this, I believe it will March 20.

  17. That press conference looked funny. Vettel vs Rosberg Part II.

    AHAHA :D Positively awkward!

  18. Helmut Marko accusing Ferrari with being disrespectful or playing games is out of line. The thing is offering them a 2015 spec might have to do with the basic fact that Ferrari already have contract with those teams but they don’t have the capacity to manufacture for 2 other teams. Even if that is not the reason, Ferrari could easily just say that and no one could really dispute that. Helmut Marko is getting all out of shape for something quite easily explicable for Ferrari. But talking about lack of respect regarding Ferrari because of that doesn’t bode well for their future plans. Especially with the history they have with rude behavior towards their engine supplier.

    1. @xylon

      To me, it looks like RBR does not have any intentions to carry on racing from 2016 onwards. First they slam Renault and now they are slamming Ferrari who are the only engine manufacturer to provide them the engines for 2016.

      Their attitude is getting worse day by day. Its unbearable. Ferrari should also simply say a firm “NO” to RBR just like Mercedes did.

    2. I’m no fan of Red Bull and their loud media presence, but you have got to be kidding that you think Ferrari offering them a 2015 spec engine is anything but a bad joke.

  19. this is a GP2 engine


  20. I remember a couple years ago the same TV coverage for Vettel. Who wants to watch a lone car 20-30 seconds ahead of everyone else enjoying a seemingly relaxed Sunday afternoon drive? It was assumed Sebastian was the winner and we watched the race to see where everyone else placed, same lately for Hamilton and Rosberg.

Comments are closed.