Rosberg exploits Hamilton’s slow start for vital win

2016 Italian Grand Prix review

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Having dominated proceedings at Monza in the two days prior to the Italian Grand Prix, all it took was one mistake for Lewis Hamilton to undo all of his hard work.

And the driver perfectly placed to take full advantage once again was his team mate, Nico Rosberg – who now lies just two points behind Hamilton as the championship moves into its final phase.

Hamilton slips back

Rosberg seized the initiative as Hamilton fell back
To Melbourne, Bahrain and Montreal we can now add Monza: all venues where Hamilton has started from pole position but surrendered his advantage on lap one. The instant the red lights went out it was clear Rosberg had got away better, and by the time they had emerged from the first corner both Ferraris had squeezed past along with Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton apologised to his team on the radio. But after he said “I knew my engineers would be worried and nervous of how the start went, so that’s why I tried to put their minds at ease”.

The championship leader said he didn’t know what had gone wrong with his start. “I did the sequence, everything exactly the same and I think I just got lots of wheelspin. A bit like Nico’s start perhaps in Hockenheim.”

Hamilton had been in this situation two years ago at the same track. On that occasion a problem with his start system dropped him to fourth place, yet he was able to catch and pass Rosberg. This time it would prove a tougher task, partly because he had fallen two places further back.

He made light work of Ricciardo’s Red Bull, however, which Mercedes power easily out-dragged on the run from the Rettifilio to the Roggia. The Mercedes power unit in the Williams of Bottas, however, presented a trickier challenge. A late defensive move from Bottas repelled one of Hamilton’s attacks. But soon afterwards DRS put the matter beyond doubt.

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Rosberg stretches his lead

Rosberg’s lead was never damaged
However it was now lap 11 and Rosberg already had 12 seconds and two Ferraris between him and his team mate. Worse for Hamilton, his soft tyres had deteriorated as he tried to pass Bottas, and so even after emerging in clear air Rosberg continued to pull away. By lap 16 that gap was almost 15 seconds.

From then on Hamilton’s pace improved and having complained about his tyres on the radio he now reported that were performing better, allowing him to delay his pit stop. But Rosberg, with the luxury of being able to nurse his tyres from the start, was in an even more comfortable position. He came in one the lap before Hamilton and there was never any question of him losing the lead.

The Mercedes drivers pitted just before half-distance, around 13 laps after their Ferrari rivals. The silver cars had the advantage of being able to start the race on the more durable softer tyre, having been quick enough to use it to get through Q2 the day before. Ferrari and the rest could not, and having started on the super-softs a two-stop strategy proved the most realistic strategy for them, though it compromised their performance relative to Mercedes.

The upshot was Hamilton never needed to worry about overtaking the red cars. He got within two-and-a-half seconds of Kimi Raikkonen before the Ferrari driver’s second stop, but once that was done Hamilton had a clear run at his team mate.

Not that he could do anything with it. Hamilton’s one-lap pace advantage had been unquestioned on Saturday, but though he could occasionally find more pace from the medium tyres in the second half of the race, consistently reaching it proved impossible. Then with 15 laps to go he seemingly settled for second place.

Ricciardo stuns Bottas

Ricciardo performed the pass of the race
Despite a slow first pit stop Sebastian Vettel maintained his position ahead of Raikkonen and finished there. The battle for fifth place was more absorbing.

Bottas had produced a superb lap to take fifth on the grid but he lost the place with six laps to go following an inspired attack from Ricciardo. Unable to get anywhere near the Mercedes-powered car on the straights, Ricciardo launched at the apex of the Rettifilio chicane and brilliantly stopped the car in time. It was up there with Hamilton’s pass on Raikkonen nine years earlier as one of the most audacious moves that piece of asphalt has ever seen.

Around the same time Max Verstappen, who had slipped back when his car went into anti-stall at the start, completed a similar move on Sergio Perez at the Roggia to capture seventh place. Force India had used an early pit stop for Perez to get him ahead of the Red Bull but the VJM09 wasn’t at its best on Monza’s long straights and eighth was the best they could manage.

Perez was separated from team mate Nico Hulkenberg by Felipe Massa, who got his weekend back on track with a great start from 11th on the grid.

Gutierrez disappoints

Gutierrez blew his chance for points
Esteban Gutierrez’s hopes of a first points finish of the season disappeared when he made a terrible start, falling ten places to 20th. Team mate Romain Grosjean fared rather better, getting up to 12th and moving ahead of Fernando Alonso to finish just outside the points.

It had been a frustrating race for the McLaren driver, who ran ninth at one stage but lost time in the pits when McLaren’s traffic light stuck on red and then disputed his team’s choice of strategy. At the end of the race he put a fresh set of tyres on and banged in the fastest lap. “We didn’t really have the pace to be in the points today, so finishing 11th or 14th didn’t really make much of a difference,” he said. “But at least we finished the race on a positive note.”

Before Alonso pitted he had been passed by Jenson Button despite the other McLaren having fallen to last on lap one after being forced wide by Felipe Nasr. “I had a lot of fun out there and pulled off some good overtaking moves,” he said, “including one around the outside of Parabolica”.

Nasr’s race was over quickly. He began lap two vying for position with Jolyon Palmer, but left too little room for the Renault at the Rettifilio and the pair collided. The stewards issued him a ten-second penalty as Sauber were in the process of withdrawing him from the race – they wisely sent him back out to serve it before anyone could think to hand him a sanction for Singapore instead.

Rosberg closes in

A jubilant Rosberg serenaded the crowd
Rosberg’s seventh victory of the win may have been straightforward but it was unquestionably deserved. And he was quick to point out it was his better start which had won it.

“It’s the rule change,” he said of the pre-season change to the regulations on start systems, “it makes it more challenging because now it’s down to the driver to do it. It’s more difficult.”

Hamilton, unsurprisingly, preferred to put a different spin on the matter. “I don’t agree that it’s more down to the driver,” he said.

“I think the driver thing is the same as it was before, it’s just that we have a relatively inconsistent clutch. In the past we were able to be told our clutch temperature and it was easier to hit our target as well but now it’s a lot less easy to know what your clutch is going to be delivering and what it’s not.”

Whichever view is right it wasn’t the first time Hamilton has fluffed a start this year – and Rosberg will be hoping it isn’t the last.

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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58 comments on “Rosberg exploits Hamilton’s slow start for vital win”

  1. The start is probably the most important action in the whole weekend, so, yes, it was a deserved victory for Rosberg, even though Hamilton was the quicker driver during the weekend. It seems like the opposit of 2014, when Rosberg struggled to convert poles into wins.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th September 2016, 6:02

      Hamilton was the quicker driver during the weekend

      In my country Sunday is part of the weekend as well!

      1. @coldfly

        so is Friday. With Hamilton being quicker on Friday and Saturday, that’s 2 out of 3 days. Therefore, overall quicker.

        1. And even on Sunday, after that disastrous start, Hamilton was lapping quicker than Rosberg during most of the race

          1. Well that’s normal, isn’t it? Hamilton was racing to get his places back, Rosberg was managing pace. There is no need for Rosberg to win with one minute advance, much better to save tyres/PU/…

          2. Well Daniel (not surprised you’re not registered with such a comment).

            Hamilton was lapping quicker than Rosberg during most of the race

            He lost an additional 12sec after lap 1 (quicker??), or an additional 3sec after passing Bottas (quicker??), and he was ‘chasing’ whilst the faster one (Rosberg) was consolidating (if not coasting)

            so is Friday

            Yes he was (FP2) and wasn’t (FP1).
            But who cares about the Friday. I’m sure Hamilton would trade his Friday anytime for a better Sunday, or even just a better start.

            whichever way you look at it Hamilton was NOT the quicker driver during the weekend.

          3. I wonder if there’s been any thought on the software which determined Hamilton’s start. Was his software any different to Rosberg’s. It is incredible to think of a 3 times world champion making such a basic ‘mistake’, yet this isn’t the first time this has happened this season. As long as this excuse for a poor start seems plausible, it will be exploited again and again.

            After Hamilton’s efforts in Belgium, Mercedes would have counted on Hamilton coming back to finish at least 2nd. Its just a shame that Monza record for 3 consecutive wins wasn’t up for grabs.

        2. @andrewf1 – I’m happy that Hamilton got 25 points each for his faster laps on Friday and Saturday. And Rosberg managed 25 points only on Sunday. Atleast use brain to comprehend what is important.

          1. @nin13

            you could instead use your brain to respond to the debate which was brought forward – namely who was the quicker driver. nobody said anything about points, but you’re welcome to carry on and completely miss the subject lol.

            alternatively, if you’re that eager to talk points, we can talk about how Rosberg lost a 43-point championship lead.

        3. Sunday is when it counts however.

          1. Agreed!
            It is also strange how some fellow posters say Hamilton was quicker during most of the race. If that truly was the case, Hamilton would have won the race. It is that simple.

            Interesting points though highlighted by Keith in this article that Hamilton has suffered at the start (and ultimately lost the win) now 4 times this year. I understand from previous year that the engineers were back then instrumental in reading engine/clutch data/temperatures and provided then specific feedback back to the drivers on the formation lap on how to adjust clutch settings to optimization the start. This feedback back to the drivers is no longer allowed per new regulations and it appear that Hamilton is the driver at Mercedes to suffer the most from this.

            Somebody can confirm the detailed mechanical operations of the clutch this year?
            Have heard that there are like to interdependent levers, both manually set and operated by the driver at the formation lap and race start.

    2. To me it seemed like Rosberg did not even focus on trying to beat Hamilton on Saturday, instead focussing on getting a good Sunday. Remember he also had a good run in the first training on Friday and was happy with his race pace in FP3. It worked for him.

      1. Think though that Rosberg would have preferred to have started on pole if he could. Now Hamilton was faster. It is always an advantage to start even just a few inches ahead of your adversaries if you can. Agreed, a couple of tracks might have exceptions to this, considering ‘dirty’ sides of the track where grip may be hampered vs the other side…

  2. In the current Era of F1 the Start is the second most important action of the race-first being to finish- so this could cause some sleepless night to Hamilton if the next race he does the same mistake.

  3. I think that having the edge over Hamilton in Singapore will be key for Rosberg, as he might even be able to get the Red Bulls between himself and LH. Let’s hope for an exciting end to the season (championship wise). Rosberg tends to be quite strong in Brazil, Austin, Abu Dhabi and if he can continue to get better starts, this could indeed be the best season yet of the new V6 era

  4. “To Melbourne, Bahrain and Montreal we can now add Monza: all venues where Hamilton has started from pole position but surrendered his advantage on lap one. ”

    Keith said it best… To be honest there are a number of races where Nico did much the same, messed up the start and lost the win right there and then.

    These two are remarkably similar on race pace. I was 100% sure Lewis had 0.5s per lap in hand at Monza, no problem he can catch him… But when he got stuck behind Bottas… and unable to chase down two Ferraris,… Where did his awesome quali pace go?

    Even once they where both in clean air, Nico easily had the measure of him. It all made me think, when we measure Nico as not as good as Lewis, do we really do him justice?

    Seems to me its pretty much down to who takes lead on first lap. Lewis tends to be a bit faster in quali, but in race there is almost 0 to separate them… Nico was happy after the race, he knew he had earned an important victory.

    1. @jureo

      “when we measure Nico as not as good as Lewis, do we really do him justice?”

      no somehow Hamilton pulls off the feat of being the best driver since jesus, and Rosberg is the worst driver since Hellen Keller, despite having similar results most weekends

      1. Spot on.

        What I find really annoying is that every time Nico wins, the Hamilton fanatics immediately put it down to luck, cheating, Lewis being merciful and/or conspiracy/bias against Lewis! Yes, the Englishman is a faster driver, but that does not necessarily mean it’s no longer possible for him to be beaten by his team-mate.

        I personally think, Rosberg’s come back of winning 7-races in a row after the 2015 USGP was very inspiring (starting from Mexico 2015 up to Russia 2016). Which is why I want him to win this year’s championship, having cheered for Lewis over the past 2 seasons. I always love a good fight back story from the underdog.

        If anything, Nico’s biggest weakness and the key for him to beating Lewis in the remaining races is to stop getting hung-up on Lewis altogether. He (Rosberg) seems to do fine when he’s not going head-to-head with his team-mate, but starts getting all weird and erratic whenever he has Hamilton in his surroundings. It’s understandable, given he has been consistently beaten by Lewis since they were still racing go-karts. But Nico needs to understand that’s all in the past and surely he can do something about it now. That for me made the difference in 2014/2015, and continues to do so up to today.

        1. These days those systems which determine the start and the rate at which the clutch engages is to be found in the software. Its not the old fashion mechanical system, but a ‘drive by wire system’. So yes there is ample room for other factors be considered besides human error or driver skill. This was Italy.

      2. With the many poles, think we have to agree that Hamilton has special talent for that!?
        Another point is that the special settings that Mercedes use for engine mapping for the qualifier are very special and gives them up to like 5 secs per lap vs standard Sunday race settings. Hamilton appear to be better in taking advantage of these special ‘extreme quali settings’ when it truly matters. That last ultimate fastest lap on Saturday afternoon! Nico then appear to be more consistently getting the best ‘average’ out of the car come Sunday race. Hamilton’s style is more either spectacular or just so so. No offense to either or their fan bases – I enjoy all kind of racing. ;o)

    2. Personally I think Rosberg is doing a great job – he has been close enough on pace, managed to be faster on several occasions and most of the time managed to take advantage when the opportunity presented itself. Also it is quite remarkable how he found steady footing to try to go on when he was solidly beaten by Hamilton last year, going on to take that string of victories. And then when Hamilton erases his large points lead in 2 races, he managed to rebound in Spa and Monza again.

      I do think that it is in part a car issue with that clutch and the new rules making it hard, especially for the guy on pole who has to wait the longest (and his teammate seems to make sure he waits as long as possible – both have been doing that the whole year) to try and get that advantage.

    3. Rosberg is an excellent driver, and Hamilton, three seasons as his team-mate at the dominant team, is just slightly but clearly better: more aggressive, sharper at close racing, whether attacking or defending, and sometimes able to extract that extra tenth by braking later than anyone else.

      Like I said many times before, had Rosberg faced a less challenging team-mate, like Barrichello, Fisichella, Massa, Kovalainen or Webber (to name all of the team-mates of the winning drivers of this century) he would be a multiple champion.

    4. @jureo

      Even once they where both in clean air, Nico easily had the measure of him. It all made me think, when we measure Nico as not as good as Lewis, do we really do him justice?

      It all boils down to this – it’s not about how good either driver is in this context, but rather the idiosyncrasies of the current formula with regards to racing in free air vs. racing in traffic.

      Rosberg was no superior to Hamilton here than Hamilton was to Rosberg in Germany – the one who simply got the start right waltzed off into the distance and simply did the bare minimum they had to whilst the other was swamped and couldn’t make progress due to traffic and the associated tyre wear that brought on. Both drivers deserve the win in each case – after all, they still executed their weekends perfectly – but again we have a boring event because there’s no real race for the lead, just an hour and a half of cars circulating, making no real progress.

      Hopefully next years tyre changes will solve this problem.

  5. It’s amazing to me that we have seen so little on-track battle’s between HAM/ROS in over 50+ GP’s of Merc dominance so far. Yesterday to me was especially dissapointing in that respect because it was always going to be a more or less team by team finishing order and there was no way for Merc to split the strategies to prevent a head-to-head.

    ROS/VET/RAI/RIC/BOT/PER/BUT/GRO all more or less maximized what their car could do all weekend, while HAM/VES/MAS/GRO/WEH/OCO had problems (car- and/or self inflicted) in either qualy or race. Both Renault and Sauber are so terrible it’s impossible for me to properly asses their drivers performances. Finally, ALO to me was the standout for putting in the fasted lap at Monza in a Honda! That’s freaking funny to me.

    Atleast the championship is close between the Merc’s and the fight between FER/RBR and Williams/FI is entertaining. It’s not a bad season, but the Merc dominance is getting tiring imho

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th September 2016, 8:14

      Agree the season is entertaining.
      Besides the HAM/ROS, RBR/SF, and WIL/FI fights there is also:
      – how far can MCL crawl up the picking order (they passed MAN, SAU, REN, STR already – Haas?)
      – can SAU/REN show any progress in 2016
      – Any more point for MAN this season; pace-wise they’re close.
      – Will KVY ever come back (or does this mean that SAI is much much better than we give him credit for)
      – Will GUT ever have a decent start
      – etc.

      exciting (rest of) season indeed. @jeffreyj

      1. Horner indicated that there was an upcoming update for the Renault PU, which may assist in pushing Renault a little further up the pecking order, but, their big issue is the chassis of the car they are running… I can’t see that they will do much better next year, after deciding to run a modified variant of the equally poor 2014 chassis either.

        With the upcoming updates for the Renault PU, I do feel that RBR may be pushed into closer contention with Mercedes for some of the upcoming circuits. Mercedes had huge issues last season at Singapore, but, I can’t see that happening again this season (not to the same level of deficit). RBR, may stay second in the constructors, but, without the intervention of fate, I can’t see them managing to grasp a win out of the over dominating Merc…

        Ferrari’s PU showed a slight performance gain for Monza, but, not sure they’ll be able to convert that into the 2nd spot on the constructors.. MCL, certainly making strides forwards with the Honda PU, but, still a long way down on the leading teams (a huge shame given their previous pedigree).

        1. Arnoud van Houwelingen
          5th September 2016, 11:54

          Singapore has tire selection of US – SS – S and Mercedes struggle much more with the US and SS tire then RBR so i do feel that RBR have a shot of winning especially with the engine, petrol and aero updates in Singapore!!

        2. I believe Renault are basing their 2017 work on the 2015 chassis (which the 2016 is also based on, but compromised by the short development time and quick engine change), not the 2014 tusked abomination.

  6. He didn’t know what had gone wrong with his start, “I did the sequence, everything exactly the same and I got lots of wheel spin”.
    He is using the same clutch and system as Rosberg, he is being given the same responsibilities as Rosberg according to the race starts rules, there is no doubt that the problem is his right foot and finger tips sensitivities.

    1. Don’t you think it is more likely that Merc has a clutch issue (which they have already stated is the case) than both their drivers, after near 20 years in F1 between them, are suddenly unable to reliably start a race?

      1. why you think Mercedes (the team) has a clutch issue when they use the same make clutch most other teams on the grid use?

        1. Because they said so

          ‘Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has revealed that the team believes the issues it faces are related to hardware problems with its clutch – and a fix is being worked on.
          “We tend to believe that it is more a hardware issue that a control electronics problem,” he explained.
          “We cannot solve that from one race to another, and we are working on trying to sort it out.’

          Now why do you think they don’t?

          1. because they have no hardware problem, one cannot solve a hardware problem when there is no problem in your hardware,what they have is driver problem.
            as to the totonator and what he said/says, which is a lot, he also said that the more Responsibilities they gave their driver sometimes it works against him.

          2. Oh and

            “At the Mercedes post-race debrief Hamilton was told by his engineers that the poor start had not been his fault, and that the clutch was responsible.

            “I’m told it wasn’t driver error, I’m told it wasn’t anyone’s error,” Hamilton said. “We continue to have an inconsistency with our clutch.
            “You’ve seen it with Nico in Hockenheim. It’s bit me quite a lot this year.
            “I was told the procedure was done exactly how I was supposed to do it, but unfortunately we just over delivery of torque, and the wheels were just spinning from the get-go.”

            So are you really going to keep blaming Nico and Lewis?

          3. “because they have no hardware problem, one cannot solve a hardware problem when there is no problem in your hardware,what they have is driver problem.”

            You cant just say it and make it true *yawn* You have no evidence to back up your perspective. I’ll ask again why do you think the problem is Nico and Lewis and not the clutch issue that they have actually said they have?

    2. Have you already forgotten that Rosberg had an almost identical start line/clutch issue in Germany?

      The clutch seems unable to properly moderate the torque from the engine – it seems very hair-trigger about it, likely a result of the existing double-clutch system being modified to suit the single-clutch regulations.

      It’s not likely to be either driver’s right foot, because they’re not smoking up the rear wheels from too many revs or slipping into anti-stall from two few.

  7. The trouble with the anti DRS here (not that I think it’s a good solution) is that the attack lauded in the article as a great one, Ricciardo, was only possible due to DRS and the one attributed to DRS, Hamilton’s, was largely due to the setup in the none DRS zone and the parabolica probably didn’t even need DRS.

    That being said I think the race would have been worse without DRS.

    1. @tdm I don’t agree at all that you couldn’t see a pass like that without DRS: Hamilton’s 2007 pass, mentioned in the article, being a case in point.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        5th September 2016, 10:26

        The problem without DRS would have been the tyres. You can’t follow another car for more than a few laps without destroying your tyres so unless they can press a button to move past (I refuse to call it an overtake) the car in front fairly quickly, you’d have to back off and cool the tyres. We’d end up lots of passes in the pits and even more drivers cruising around slowly.

        Hopefully the tyres next year will be actual fit-for-purpose F1 tyres and we can finally talk about getting rid of DRS!

      2. Arnoud van Houwelingen
        5th September 2016, 11:55

        Well the overtake of Verstappen against Perez was also without DRS

      3. But 2007 was very different to today and there is no way anyone is telling me that Daniel would have been anywhere near the back of a Williams without DRS @keithcollantine.

        Not saying that nobody could ever pass like that without DRS more that your examples are not good ones in this case.

        1. The Monza main straight as well as the china canada and hockenheim back straight, the baku and Kemmel straight and probably the Mexico and Abu Dhabi straight could all do without DRS imho.

          It’s not totally useless but not mescesarry on all straights and the lenghts of the zones could be adjusted as well.

      4. In 2007 Hamilton had straight line speed advantage over Raikkonen. Ricciardo didn’t over Bottas. So Ricciardo would never have been anywhere near without DRS. Ricciardo’s pass was only possible because of DRS.

        1. DRS can only be employed when you are 1sec or less behind the car in front. Ricciardo was doing consistantly faster in the first place in order to get within DRS range silly.

          1. He was doing faster laptimes but as Patrick said he did not have a straight line speed advantage and so would not have gotten close to overtake on the straight … silly!

  8. It’s interesting that people have complained about nearly every rule change but one of them (change to the start procedure) has in my opinion been brilliant.

    Starts are now far more unpredictable, and I suspect require more skill from the drivers than in the past, which means that Sundays contain more excitement.

    Well done FIA.

    1. I agree, certainly one of the very few rule changes which have improved some of the racing…

      1. Well, the engine limitation is also spicing up the racing…

        1. @ JeffreyJ
          I do not agree. The engine limitation is the reason they do not push the engines as much as they could.
          In the past, the engines would last only for one race becuase they were always on the limit (from a technical point of view).
          That’s why we do not see engines blow outs anymore.

  9. It boils down to no grip on the starting line due to the wiiiide strip of paint.

    The loser is the one closer to the line with the car barely moving and desperately needing the grip then and there.

    1. it all boils down to right foot and fingertips sensitivity.

      1. No, it boils down to an engineer setting up the clutch for the race and the drivers having to guess clutch temperature. Which in turn makes it being a gamble if the clutch is going to work as expected or not.

        1. all car clutches kiss-point/bite-point on the grid are set/programed by engineers, all clutch hardware on the race starting grid are new, at lights-out it is the driver on his own that operates the clutch and throttle without now-a-days being guided by their respective pit wall engineers, some gets it right, some does not, some gets it wrong more than others, in short, some are more consistent in getting it all wrong than others.

          1. Kind of difficult to have a safe breaker’s touch through a driving glove. to answer your “sensitivity” argument.

            But if you look at a replay of the start, LH starts moving as soon as the light goes out. Same goes for NR and those behind. So it is not a matter or reaction time being bad. What is different is the rate of movement, the rate of acceleration.

            Friction coefficient on the asphalt is different than that of the painted plastic strip. Wheel will spin on the strip a lot more than it does on the tarmac. So if you hit the plastic early in the acceleration process, you will lose more time going forward because the plastic strip causes a halt in your forward propulsion at a critical moment. Plus, as the spinning wheels reach the tarmac, they will again spin because of the momentum they carry until they heat up enough to grab.

            By this time, others have passed you because to them the plastic line disruption was not critical or substantial.
            Remember that everyone hits the gas as the light goes out.

            When pedal operated clutches were in vogue, the idea was to have the spinning occur at the clutch and not at the tire road interface. Then the pilot was in full control.

            Today’s automation of the grab onset via a time delay setting, and the grab consistency by a further refinement in the delay cannot take into account all the variables that affect the getaway. Be it tire vs road surface temperature, resulting coefficient of friction and a number of other factors make preloading an educated guess, a gamble that may hit it on the head or fail.

            So it is not all in the sensitive fingers or the pilots as you imply .

  10. Lauda seems to have advised ROS well during his visits over the summer break. HAM has botched more starts than ROS so far this season and Lauda must have pointed to this as an advantage ROS should exploit. If he keeps a cool head and neither Red Bull nor Ferrari progress enough to get into more wheel-to-wheel combat with the Mercs, ROS is the more likely to win this year’s championship. He could even do it without claiming any more poles and simply breezing past the more error-prone HAM off the line.

    1. Nico has certainly already by now many more race wins in this year than his own father Keke had when he won his WDC! ;o)
      But but, the season is still only half way through and Hamiton is sitting in the other car. Lots can still happen…

  11. Consider this for one moment. Do you think it’s possible that rather than Mercedes having the occasional bad start, that it could just be oil on their grid box?

    I’m not suggesting it is done on purpose but I don’t understand that when Hamilton and Rosberg have had bad starts (with wheelspin), there doesn’t seem to be any tire marks left behind.

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