Grosjean: “We are just slow and we don’t know why”

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says Haas does not understand why it has fallen so far off the pace.

What they say

I think from my side the car was just not there today. The only comparison you have is your team mate and I was well ahead of him. So I was happy he was my driving and I was happy with my pace.

But we are just slow and we don’t know why. There’s no obvious issue in the balance of the car but the lap time is just not there.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is Toto Wolff right to identify tyre management as the area Valtteri Bottas needs to prioritise?

I agree this is a weakness for Bottas. When tyre management wasn’t as much of an issue like back in his Williams days, he seemed to be able to get more out of it. So on race day, if the tyres lasted better than they do now, I think he would manage to be closer to Hamilton. As in still quite a way off at some races, but without that sudden drop of near the end which has happened several times at Mercedes.

I used to think that he looked after his tyres well at Williams. But I just think they behave so differently now. In Canada 2016 for example, he made his strategy work to get a podium over Red Bull.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 27 comments on “Grosjean: “We are just slow and we don’t know why””

    1. RE. COTD, I think part of the tyre problems has to do with setup, getting heat in new tyres quickly is what is needed for qualifying, which is where Bottas has looked good, but for the race it will lead to more rapid degradation, maybe Lewis goes for a compromise and uses abundant talent to overcome slightly less grip in Q3. Discuss ?

      1. I suspect it might just be a case of the following car having it’s front aero disrupted, Bottas seemed to have no problems when he was leading, and Hamilton was having similar issues when he was running second behind Bottas.

        That’s why they are both really stretching during qualifying. His biggest problem is he woke Hamilton up earlier this year and frankly Hamilton at his best is pretty much unbeatable unless you can get pole and stay in front at the first corner so he gets the problem maintaining his tyres.

        Going to be a very tough season for Bottas – saw a little bit of fire in him after the race with his “he’s beatable” comment but unless Hamilton eases off, he’s going to find that pretty difficult unless Bottas can find yet another level.

        1. @dbradock good point. these races are being decided by whoever gets ahead at the start – whoever leads in the first stint has a much easier time looking after the tyres and it tends to shape the rest of the race. the solution is not easy – the issue is not just that the pirellis suffer thermal degradation, they also lose temperature and getting the car set up to get them ‘in the window’ is also a function of how good the car will be in qualifying.

          i recall clearly how bored people were with the indestructible bridgestones of circa 2010, but the key difference was the way in which the tyres degrade. tyres could be designed with a higher slip angle and more material would allow a more linear degradation, which could be controlled over a longer or shorter stint (i.e. faster short stint or slower long stint, with the same compound). pirelli have painted themselves into a corner with the thermal degradation, thin construction and high mandated pressures – there is basically nowhere else they can go without a total u-turn in the design philosophy. I hoped this may happen when they regained the tender to supply the sport until 2023 – and indeed it might when we switch to 18″ wheels – but i get the impression they don’t want/aren’t able to spend enough money to totally change tack on their design concept.

          1. So how do you explain Lewis sitting on Vettel’s gearbox the entire Canadian gp and Bottas struggling in the same race? Toto having all the data knows why he’s pointed out that weakness.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              26th June 2019, 20:39

              Well, Hamilton was struggling to get by in the same way Bottas was. Bottas was just a lot more cautious. That Mercedes does not seem good at following other cars. Once Bottas finally got past, he was pretty much doing the same pace as the leaders. It wasn’t pace Bottas was lacking that weekend. It was a mistake in qualifying and a lack of aggression in the race.

    2. “Well ahead of him”.
      Five seconds ahead when he retired the car. wow.
      Clearly trying to save his face as his results are almost as bad as they were at this period last year.

      1. – Why Grosjean’s car were never fast cars?
        – Hum, maybe it is Grosjean.

        1. Grosjean has, on his best days, certainly shown up Magnussen massively on pace. His problem is that he seems fragile in getting there, not that he is not fast.

        2. Agree that there’s a feeling last few years kinda more damaged his reputation as a driver but, in 2013, with Lotus, he had some strong races, easily beating RAI.

    3. Not sure if this subject has some traction, but why not compare the gridgirls pay to those of the nightguards on F1 tracks? Or the fact that many marshalls are voluntaries: objectifying the human body’s ability to twirl flags and collect bollards.
      Show me a program to promote women in engineering position, and count me on.
      (For instance, hiring women to new job posts would not counting on the budget cap.)
      Maybe some of the gridgirls had to deal with some abuse, and such cases should be dealt properly.
      But it seems as a wrong hill to die. It gathers antipathy as it seems such a irrelevant matter – if gridgirls as objectified or not – as a representative of a progressive agenda.

      1. This may show how jurassic I am, but I fail to see how banning gridgirls makes the world a better place. Particularly when worse jobs would remain to be held by men in the “F1 circus”.

      2. You are a man, look at it from the female perspective please. I’m a 37 year old man and can see 100% they are objectifying females, and young girls growing up don’t need to have leering eyes on them judging their looks first and foremost.

        1. Interestingly though, the vast majority of young girls make them selves up and wear clothing that seems designed purely to catch the eyes of men wouldn’t you say?

        2. What women really like is men telling then how they feel and think.

        3. To add on what @nullapax said, funny how millions of young girls on Instagram have no problem with showing off their bottoms or busts. Let me guess, they are doing it for themselves, rather than to attract men, right?

          1. Living up to the nickname, Mr armchair expert.

            I’d say the big difference is that the volunteer/underpaid men risking their lives for F1 do it for the love they have for the sport and for caring for the men they so admire and strive to emulate. The gridgirls have very different reasons for being there, and unfortunately, up until recently, they were the second “highest grade” ladies in F1. Any little girl watching F1 looking for female references of roles to emulate would have to choose between them, the commentators for local tv or the wives of the drivers. Good thing they have ms Williams these days.

            It always amazes me that F1 fans are among the most eloquent and polite when discussing their favourite sport and several related subjects, but so many are so oddly juvenile, ignorant or cruel when talking about women and sustainability.

            1. As a father of a daughter I’m uncomfortably aware and worried about what a grid full of male drivers and some girls who are there to look pretty for a few minutes and then have to clear off before the action starts says to her. What does it say about what females can aspire to and what does it say about how it suits men to see them. Grid girls in themselves are not the problem; they are evidence of the problem. Banning grid girls doesn’t solve the problem but that doesn’t mean that we should tolerate them. The fact that they are there and visible actively helps to perpetuate the status-quo.
              In the same way banning incitement to hatred does not solve the problem of racial or religious intolerance but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate it.

            2. Morality is the problem here. Lots of people try and define what is moral and demonise those that don’t conform to their concept of morality. Worse than Nazi’s they are if you ask me.

    4. Interesting video of the car passing the safety car.

      We’re there no fire marshals on track? Surely the correct thing to do would have been to pull up next to one and exit the car rather than risk a more catastrophic situation?

      1. I think there were none even in the pits he stops next to a truck and i see no people at all. Stopping on track would totalloss his car.

    5. Romain Grosjean says Haas does not understand why it has fallen so far off the pace

      They Hass to ask their listed and unlisted parts suppliers for better factory solutions.

    6. “Bottas needs to urgently find that guy with wild eyes who I interviewed as the winner at the end of the Australian Grand Prix, and invite him back into the cockpit. Lewis has the clear upper hand and he hasn’t even reached the summer break yet, after which he tends to get really fast.”

      I agree that Bottas does need to up his game in certain areas, particularly with regards to in-race tyre management, but the simple fact is that he has improved this year, he is performing at a high level and he is pushing Hamilton hard, particularly over 1 lap. The average qualifying gap between them is something like 0.069 for the season to date, which is very impressive. He also had the edge last weekend right up to Q2, but great champions are always able to dig deep and find something special which is what Hamilton did.

      The other simple fact is that the truly great drivers like Hamilton, Stewart and Taki Inoue make drivers who are “just” good look ordinary. You have to judge Bottas in that context. He is doing a great job.

      1. Um…Are you just checking we’re paying attention?

        1. A bit of light relief. #TakiInoueForever

    7. Another interesting column by Palmer and I agree with him in principle on the points he brings up.
      I also agree with Brundle concerning Bottas.

    8. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      26th June 2019, 22:38

      Great news to see O’ward get a chance in F2. I had been expecting MP motorsports to once more field Markelov, who is a proven and fast driver. O’ward is doing quite well for a Carlin driver in Indycar. I hope he can impress. I really hope he gets a chance in F1 in the future (or a title-challenging Indycar seat)

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