Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2016

Tyres prevented Rosberg chase – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he couldn’t chase Nico Rosberg down in the Italian Grand Prix because the current tyres prevent drivers from sustaining flat-out pace.

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In a year when we experienced the ‘delights’ of elimination qualifying, some praise for one of F1’s better recent rules changes:

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.
DB-C90 (@dbradock)

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  • 47 comments on “Tyres prevented Rosberg chase – Hamilton”

    1. RE COTD: The reason no one complains about the start procedure is because despite the fact it’s intended to do things like that which happened at Monza with Hamilton dropping back, it’s still something for the drivers and technical team to overcome without being artificial.

      The team still get to produce their own clutch and find a work around unlike the tyres. I’m just hope no one has the idea to make clutches a stock control item as well.

      1. @philipgb The sad thing about that is, even though it may might the starts more interesting, it works by gimping the car performance, which is in principal is the same with degrading tires we all hate. Double clutch system is a great technology and cheap. Maybe someday we going to demand the ban of seamless shift too so we could see car choking when changing gears…

        1. While all of it is great technology, and certainly got a boom after being developed originally for racing, the thing is, we put artificial rules in place to “test the skills of competitors” when we go racing. It will always have to be artificial, with rules limiting things @sonicslv, @philipgb.

          We already can have cars that change gears exactly where it would be optimal, we can have traction control, start systems etc. All make it faster, but because it is an artificial contest, we want to put more of the work in the hands of the drivers (instead of leaving it to the engineers to pre plan the car to go as fast as possible).

          To a degree, that also goes for tyres. But there is a difference between forcing behaviour (like we have with the tyres) and putting the human factor into it. Then again, the only reason everyone is doing the same is because all of them pre-calculate and simulate what is the “best” way to do it.

          I can see a solid argument for taking away the fancy gearboxes and putting it on the drivers to do the gear shifts manually. It would certainly make things less predictable and see more mistakes that might help overtaking. But off course it IS artificial (because we have technical means that are better).

        2. You have to keep the elements of the competition you want and for me, a relatively manual start is one of them. We want to test the skills of the drivers as much as possible.

          The tyres are different though. It’d be like playing the Championship League final with one of those £2 petrol station plastic footballs or making the Olympic 100m an “egg and spoon” race. It reduces the skills we actually want to see from being on show and replaces them with something else far more dull to watch.

        1. Ferrari developed a single clutch system ahead of lobbying for the rule change…

          1. No they developed a single clutch LEVER

            The only real change in any of this is to the levers on the steering wheel – the rest is down to the lack of information and the absolute fragility of the clutch itself.

            We may keep going on about ‘the driver’ but the sheer complexity of trying to get that complex an engine with its ridiculous torque levels off the line properly is to my mind a task that is obviously very very difficult.

            Certainly harder than in years gone by.

        2. You’re right about stock items. However, getting the balance between clutch temperature and rear tire temp is a mastery act. So, if you have overheated clutch on the start and cold tires: no joy. If you have overheated tires and clutch temp ok: no joy. If you overheat them both: no joy. If they are below optimal temp: no joy. And, these are just few factors in play, there is even more.
          It was much easier in past seasons when engineers helped during formation lap to keep things perfectly warmed up. These days everything is much more interesting…, if you ask me.

    2. Mark Hughes (MoMag) report repeating the message of yesterdays COTD. I am constantly amazed by the numerous F1fans that still can’t see the logic of this simple cause and effect equation, if you are one of these fans please open your mind and apply some thought as to what is happening, not what was supposed to happen.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        6th September 2016, 6:23

        Correct @hohum. But some fans are blind to the fact that it was Merc/HAM’s own choice to stay on a 1-stopper and pick the boring option (Soft – Medium with long stints). And it was obvious that in Monza ROS was better at that game than HAM.
        How interesting would Monza have been had HAM chosen a RIC strategy with 2 stops and an attacking final stint.
        Just look at the numbers: HAM was 11sec behind ROS after their pitstop and on the same (Medium) tyres lost another 4sec by flag fall. Whereas RIC was maybe only 1sec behind BOT on that lap, but by picking a more aggressive strategy was able gain 7sec and a position on his adversary (even VES did it on PER on the same tyre strategy but with a 2-stopper).

        1. @coldfly Does Hamilton actually can request plan change though? We know Mercedes is using 1 strategist and they seems don’t want to give different strategy for their drivers unless they’re not in battle with each other. Even requesting the delay to pit seems impossible to do.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            6th September 2016, 7:48

            Don’t know @sonicslv. That’s why I put ‘Merc/HAM’.
            But IMO it’s too simplistic to blame it all on Pirelli.

          2. I am pretty sure that Mercedes mentioned they would allow more freedom to do those kind of things this year – alternative strategy when their drivers are racing @sonicslv, @coldfly.

            But it’s quite possible that the team would still advice against it, because they know from their simulation that the car would work the tyres too much and might destroy them without ever getting the wanted hunt on Rosberg (who almost certainly had quite a bit in hand for a large portion of the race and would have probably been able to react by speeding up too)

          3. Mercedes wont allow that kind of strategy when the cars are already 1-2, although is has happened in the past to protect a race results, normally it’s been Rosberg however. When situations like happen they have generally been more open about putting the driver who is behind on a aggressive strategy but only when it is clear the race win is out of the question. Mercedes will not repeat Austria again, when strategy put 1 guy in front of the other when in reality they had no business being there. Its a tough call for Mercedes given the fans want to see Hamilton attacking the field on the most aggressive strategy he can have but Mercedes wont a 1-2 in the most simple and boring fashion possible, just as all teams do. On the Hamilton side of things, it would seem that drivers can give feedback on strategy advice etc but this rarely makes a difference to strategy, generally it’s because the driver is wrong but Mercedes had to admit they were wrong a couple times last season and Hamilton was right. So simply put there is no black and white answer to yours question.

            1. (Keyboards dying batteries not being kind to me today, sorry for the missed words)

      2. There are more variables in a race besides the tyres.
        Even if Hamilton would have been able to push during the whole race, maybe (1) he would have run out of fuel near the end, (2) he would have killed his brakes (I think he locked up more then any driver this past race-weekend), (3) he would have killed his engine, etc…

        It is easy for a writer to proclaim Hamilton would have had a better chance of winning with more durable tyres, but his simple cause (more durable tyres) and effect-logic (Hamilton would have been in contention for the victory) is just to short-sighted if you take all the other variables mentioned above into consideration.

        1. *ran out of fuel

        2. @gdewilde, as you say, it feels as if the writer has decided what he wanted to happen – which was a victory for Hamilton – and has then looked to find a reason for his expectations not matching up to reality.

          In a way, it is as if the author doesn’t want to allow for the possibility that there could be any fault on the part of Hamilton. Having decided that he is automatically the better driver in all circumstances, and having assumed that Hamilton would automatically be 0.5s a lap quicker than Rosberg – even though, as you say, it is quite likely that factors such as fuel consumption, engine and brake wear would have prevented him from going anything like as fast – it is as if the only way that he can rationalise to himself that a driver whom he dismisses as being inferior to Hamilton can only compete with him is because Hamilton is being limited, not that Rosberg could perform more strongly under the different circumstances of race conditions instead of qualifying.

          What would be interesting is whether Hughes would have been prepared to say the same thing if the situation had been reversed – i.e. if we had a race where Rosberg has been significantly quicker in qualifying, but Hamilton had then gone on to win the race whilst Rosberg had toiled through the pack – whether he would have made the same complaints about the tyres, or whether he would have instead made comments praising Hamilton for driving a strategic race whilst simultaneously downplaying Rosberg’s performance.

    3. I see a lot of people getting their hopes up about how a media company will want to increase audience numbers and may be prepared to cut profits from vast to merely big in order to do so, I hope they are right. At least without Bernie we should expect them to reverse any detrimental gimmicks as soon as they are seen to be negatively affecting the racing/show because managerial teams value their jobs over their ego, unlike dictators.

    4. Re todays COTD, yes please, we all want as much driver control as we can get. I know I always speak for all of you. And let’s all hope F1 can get back to being as exciting and suspenseful as was the weekends MotoGP at Silverstone.

    5. Re Hamilton’s comment “If we had better grip, yes I could have done qualifying laps lap after lap. That would be great. But it hasn’t been like that for a long time.”
      As Kimi would no doubt say, “It’s the same for everyone Lewis”.

      1. Others would also have been able to push far more with different tyres, and it might have made the job harder for Hamilton. The mercedes is still harder on it’s softer tyres because it has more downforce compared to most

      2. @glennb Erm, well, yeah, exactly that. Hence the lack of hard charging drives and a scarcity of on-track action for everyone. Indeed, not just for Lewis. Unbelievable huh? Not just for Lewis!

        1. @glennb, @bascb, Rather then maintaining a tyre-dominated pace and getting nowhere compared to Rosberg, if it was full out quali laps for the whole race, Hamiltons ultimate pace, which more often than not is quicker than Rosberg’s, might have enabled him to actually gain ground. Even if not, i’d like to find out.

          1. Schumacher pulling off consistent laps like that was amazing.
            But you just have to look at Hamilton regularly locking up in Monza to realize it’s not that easy doing it for a string of laps. Not to mention that the cars cannot do it lap after lap either.

            1. @bascb So are you saying that the ability to put in quali-like laps consistently might be down to driver skill? Who would want that…

            2. Off course it is @fluxsource, what is your point?

            3. @bascb Ever thought the lock-ups were simply down to the tyres not keeping up with demands? I’m absolutely certain, given the same kind of tyres Schuey was privilege to (don’t forget, they were custom made for Michael), Lewis and indeed many contemporary F1 drivers would also put in Q lap after Q lap. Driving as fast as possible all the time is precisely what makes a racing driver (key-word: possible. Tyres being the limiting factor).

            4. Yeah sure, @psynrg, nothing special about Schumacher. Sorry, but only Hamilton was locking up that much, the driving does make a difference, and Hamilton probably didn’t do jis pace nor consistency any favours by that. Better tyres are very welcome, but it would allow all drivers to push more, Hamilton wouldn’t suddenly be able to catch Rosberg as if he would be patiently waiting for Lewis to catch up.

            5. @bascb Sorry, only just noticed this reply. My point is that everyone keeps clamouring to make it more about the drivers and less about the cars, and here is a perfect way to allow that: replace tyres that require super-management for ones that allow the driver to push throughout their lifetime (at least more than they do at the moment).

            6. @fluxsource, ok, thanks for explaining. I have nothing at all against tyres that allow for more variation in how they get used by drivers.

              But off course that doesn’t change anything about the fact that when Hamilton keeps locking up his tyres, he will most likely hurt them more than others who don’t lockup. And when Hamilton is pushing them to their limit going as fast as possible for several laps, there still is no reason what so ever that others wouldn’t be driving faster in turn.

              All of that doesn’t have much to do with your point. But they refer to the remarks from Hamilton that looked as if he felt somehow disadvantaged by the tyres, when the same issue goes for anyone to a large degree.

      3. I don’t get the point. Only Hamilton could have done qualy laps? And for the grip available, why didn’t he maximize his laps to catch Rosberg if the implication is that he’s faster when they had the same car and same tyres?

      4. The problem is, even if doing nothing but qualifying laps and possibly an extra stop was the way to get Lewis in front of Nico, no one on the Mercedes pit wall was going to put him on that strategy as they are happy so long as they get a 1-2 finish.

    6. Sept 1st – Lewis says he’s decided to take a sabbatical…from talking about tyres. That won’t please Pirelli (tweet from Alan Baldwin)

      Sept 6th – Tyres prevented Rosberg chase – Hamilton

    7. A bit off topic @keithcollantine but any update on new podcast release by Ben and yourself? Haven’t heard you guys since Baku.

      1. @neelv27 We are working on it but for both of us this year has involved a bit more work on other projects than we were expecting. That’s a nice problem to have, but it’s meant scheduling a regular time slot to record it has become difficult. We’re hopeful of sorting something out before the end of the year, though.

        1. Thanks for the update @keithcollantine. Looking forward to hearing from you guys. Good luck!

    8. F1 tyres are always driven on their limit. No more no less. Obviously over the limit abusers think they are too fragile and under the limit nannies think they are too hard.
      Just scrap the current restriction and give them a big enough range to choose from, however they want. Had it with the constant whining. Get on this Pirelli or keep getting bad PR.

    9. “If we had better grip, yes I could have done qualifying laps lap after lap.”
      There is always a limiting factor.

      If its not tyres, its fuel.
      If not fuel, then brakes.
      If not brakes, then engines…

      1. @ninjabadger True, However the other components (And tyres of the past) were not been artificially designed to be a limiting factor like the current tyres are.

        1. like the current fuel and ‘power units’ are too.

          they are all heavily restricted and favor the engine manufactures. If it were more quantity over quality, the competition would be better. But it’s not, it’s quality over quantity, and the only people who can afford to play that game are those with any real interest, ie wealthy engine manufactures. Those guys are the only ones with the purse strings and the ‘influence’ in terms of what they do for the teams, that will mean anything in this current formula. It’s not about the ‘small’ manufactures, its about selling advertisement space to firms. Thats what F1 is really about. Ad space.

    10. m-up: Lewis Hamilton says he couldn’t chase Nico Rosberg down in the Italian Grand Prix because the current tyres prevent drivers from sustaining flat-out pace.

      That. Pretty much… Provides “awesome overtaking” and eliminates any chance of racing.

      Think MSC quali lap after quali lap in 2000s… That kind of racing has no place in todays F1…. Saddly.

      Lewis had 0.5s pace in hand over Nico.. If he could deliver that in the race imagine awesome duel we would have? Edge of the seat for 30 minutes and then battle on final laps..

      Instead we had lame start and race for victory under normal circumstances was over.

    11. Getting tired about the constant Marchionne-not-happy stories. What good should it do? Surely he knows this is not good for morale?
      Lauda says this kind of talk is a well known problem: “It seems to me that the old, well-known and fundamental Ferrari problems still exist,” he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper. The people at Ferrari are very emotional: if it goes well, they are relaxed and casual, which is bad for continuous success. And if it’s not going well, there is a merciless pressure from the outside and the inside, creating a rush and quick fixes.”

    12. …Ecclestone berated Mercedes because they were useless concerning the PU supplying issues that thwarted f1. It obvious that not wanting to help either rival is a rational decision. Hamilton is lobbying, I’m disappointed. Lewis was brilliant in qualifying, he made a mistake at the start which was very damaging to him, as I believe he would’ve won otherwise. His race pace was nothing special, I don’t believe he would have given up on winning right after the start which shows his race pace was never impressive, so bad tyres or good tyres he was not going to win. I feel Hamilton might be suggesting that his qualifying prone set up was never going to yield him great pace for the race, considering track position is so important at Monza and the availability of the medium compound, it’s a sensible decision.

      1. “I don’t believe he would have given up on winning right after the start ”

        Really? What is he supposed on do on a one stop strategy?? Go like banzai, ruin his tires and end up fourth? And how do you know he had a “qualifying” set up? Are you a Merc engineer? A quick look at the history books will show you Lewis’s pace around Monza.

        1. Good one… As history suggests… Lewis would win. But he didnt… History also suggests Nico mostly wins if Lewis messes up a start.

    13. @COTD, I really don’t understand what the attraction is in randomizing events. It just means the teams need to develop something new again to eliminate the randomness.

      I guess the best thing really would be to have the drivers throw dice for the starting order. People would be ecstatic about the unpredictability.

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