Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2015

“I was just controlling the pace” – Rosberg

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg said he had the race under control in Brazil despite coming under severe pressure from team mate Lewis Hamilton at times.

“It went perfectly,” said Rosberg after taking his fourth win of the year. “Lewis put on a good challenge but I was able to control it and never give him a change so I’m pleased with that.”

Rosberg said he had “no issues” when Hamilton got closest to him during the second stint.

“I was just controlling the pace, never over-doing it to not risk making a mistake and also to not risk having too much degradation,” said Rosberg. “We saw Lewis dropping off a lot with degradation in the second stint and that confirmed it was important to take care of the tyres.”

Rosberg has won the last two grands prix in a row and set pole position at the last five. However he isn’t able to explain his recent upswing in form.

“I’m pushing now, I was pushing at the beginning of the season,” he said. “I don’t have an exact explanation for why it’s going so strongly now but I just want to keep it going.”

“Lewis had the upper hand for a lot of the season, I needed to turn it around,” Rosberg added. “At the moment it’s going really well and I’m pleased with that. Next race in Abu Dhabi, I want to go for the win there again.”

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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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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11 comments on ““I was just controlling the pace” – Rosberg”

  1. The following driver experiences how hard it is to follow the leading car but it is hardly a unknown or new topic. Leading drivers know this and use it well…

  2. Didn’t look like severe pressure to me I gotta say, Lewis was never close to making a move. Nico won it on Saturday and didn’t throw it away on Sunday, fair play to him.

  3. That’s two weekends in a row now that Rosberg has led from the front and responded to anything Hamilton could throw at him. Whilst many have already ruled Rosberg out of contention for the title next season, I don’t quite think that he is out of it yet.

  4. No, you wasn’t controlling the pace, thats why you had to make a 3rd pitstop, because Lewis was deciding the pace and therefore both of your strategies.

    1. Hardly. Lewis was trying hard to overtake and push Nico, but he never got close enough for a challenge. Nico was just looking after his tyres. Something Hamilton was unable to do while following and he suddenly dropped 3 seconds off the pace as his tyres went off.

      If anyone was controlling the pace it was Ferrari. They were the one dictating if Merc needed to up the engine modes and create a gap. Merc only ever do enough to get a pitstop clear of those guys. They couldn’t this time. Which means we probably got a good indication of Merc pace.

      Nico and Hamilton both know that they can generally match each others pace, but passing is another story. THe team won’t let them use pitstop strategies, so they know that if they are second into the first corner they will be first at the end too. Thus, if you are 1st on track, the race pace is yours to decide. Nico did that very well today.

      1. “Lewis was trying hard to overtake and push Nico”

        Thus, Lewis was controlling the pace. Not Nico, Nico had to up his pace to stay ahead, therefore at a cost of tyre life, thus having to make an unschedualed 3rd stop.

        It’s not hard.

        1. The unscheduled stop was made for Hamilton to ensure he didn’t lose 2nd place as his tyres were going off too early and Vettel was fast.

          They just stopped both car at the same time in keeping with their policy.

          It’s not hard..

    2. Mercedes went to plan B, 3 stop race, after Vettel showed his hand and was on 3 stop strategy. Mercedes covered him. I don’t see how one could surmise that Hamilton was controlling the pace of that race … from 2nd.

  5. @craig-o That would be a great story for next year! I really hope that he learned from COTA and that he keeps his form.

  6. has there been any race since 2011 where drivers have not been ‘controlling there pace’?

    this was just your average tyre management/drs-era race, everyone driving to a pace desperately trying not to push the tyres for fear of moving temperatures outside of the operating window and starting the thermal degredation that send tyre performance off the cliff.

    its the same with the difficulty in following, its possible as we see drivers like max verstappen running very close to cars infront… however doing it kills the tyres faster so those fighting for wins/podiums don’t want to risk it so they don’t risk making additional stops.
    if the tyres were more durable with no risk of thermal degreadtion and larger operating windows so drivers could push them harder then drivers will be more willing to push hard up behind another car and the racing would be better for it.

    1. Two things need to change for 2017.

      1) Tyres need to have the thermal degradation aspect removed as much as possible. The amount of tread should dictate longevity, not avoiding hitting a thermal cliff where the tyres become unusable. That is what happened in Sochi and I think it was better for it.

      2) The front wings need to be made much simpler as they are too badly affected by turbulence from the car ahead, perhaps a limit of 2/3 elements. This will reduce downforce but that could be made up by utilising a degree of ground effect which is not influenced by dirty air.

      Looking at how it is going though we won’t get this as all the talk is about engines. Changing these aspects though would enable drivers to push harder and would make it easier for them to follow each other. If it worked well enough you could also get rid of DRS.

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