Hulkenberg puzzled by inconsistent tyre performance

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In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg said he had to make an extra pit stop in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix because of unexpectedly poor performance on his second set of hard tyres.

What they say

Hulkenberg was running ahead of team mate Lance Stroll when he had to make an extra pit stop near the end of the race.

The first half of the grand prix obviously looked very good, kind of on target to hold on to fourth. But then Charles [Leclerc] on his one-stop was obviously very strong.

My second stint on the prime, that seemed a wholly different set of tyres, not the same grip. And I picked up some blisters on them and from the rear axle and consequently fairly big vibrations that ultimately forced us to stop of that tyre and then three-stopping, obviously on to seventh.

I just don’t understand because the second stint was all fairly straightforward and easy and I thought usually it gets easier as the fuel comes out of the car. So I thought the third stint should be very straightforward.

But it came differently, unfortunately. We just need to see why that happens. But given all circumstances I’m very happy to be standing here with six points, to be honest.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Robbie isn’t convinced Racing Point’s infringement deserves a punishment:

I have not considered Racing Point as big cheaters in this. I can’t say I have stood up and applauded them for the level of copying they have done as I don’t believe that is the way to go in F1. But I do believe they had gone to great lengths to comply to the regulations so I can understand Stroll’s frustration.

It truly is splitting hairs regarding what has lead to their penalty. So as I say I have never considered them underhanded nor cheaters in this. Just perhaps playing in an area that was always going to invite scrutiny, and a lot of it. I’m not sure if it was another team doing it, that Stroll would not have been one of the ones reacting in a manner similar to what some teams have done, and that has appalled him.

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Jacques Laffite won the German Grand Prix after the Renault drivers dropped out with engine problems. Pole sitter Alan Jones held off closest title rival Nelson Piquet for third behind team mate Carlos Reutemann.

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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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  • 29 comments on “Hulkenberg puzzled by inconsistent tyre performance”

    1. Pirelli either has manufacturing process control problems or some of this week’s hard tyres were made using last week’s recipe.

      1. F1 is probably tweaking another hidden variable. Like the fuel flow limiters that can be up to 5% inaccurate. Back to being the WWE of motor racing, except now papa Stroll is the boss?

        I’m sure he would be a prime candidate for Carey’s position after a few years of being a team owner…

        Anyway, I’ll just sit here wrapped in tin foil 🤣

        1. @skipgamer where are you getting that “5% inaccurate” figure from when the manufacturer’s specifications state it can measure the fuel flow rate to plus or minus 0.25%? If it was that inaccurate, given it’s in use across a wide range of motorsport series, surely being that inaccurate would have caused far more issues and it is unlikely that they would still be in use today.

          1. @skipgamer where are you getting that “5% inaccurate” figure from when the manufacturer’s specifications state it can measure the fuel flow rate to plus or minus 0.25%?

            Team run 2 cars! 5% x 5% = 0.25% :P

            1. I like the way you think! haha

          2. @anon don’t know tbh, but I remember there being some regulation stipulation on the allowed innacuracies when they were introduced. I thought it was more than .25% and Red Bull based their protest on the unfairness of that potential innacuracy, but that was squashed immediately back then.

            Either way the comment was very tongue in cheek

    2. Inconsistent? Huge vibrations?
      Now a wonder from such a disaster as Pirelli tyres.
      Totally incompetent company.

      Previously I just took them as a necessary evil, but now anymore. I will not stop till they are gone from F1!


      1. Well done on the viral hashtag @dallein.
        It seems mentions have doubled since yesterday to a grand total of 2.

    3. I love there’s dot idea in Singapore. The bay grandstand is awful; bad seats and restricted view. Can’t wait for Singapore to be on the calendar again.

      1. Is it going to affect the profile of the circuit?

        1. @pironitheprovocateur Most likely. One of the plans (if I remember correctly) was to bypass the Crashgate section completely, going from the current T16 straight to T19, creating a straight almost similar in length to the back straight.

    4. Apparently, but for seeing it advertised on F1, young kids wouldn’t drink alcohol.

      1. Yeah, alcohol companies are pretty concerned that “kids these days” dont seem to be drinking as much as their predecessors. The general promotion of of non alcoholic beers is partial to target this demographic, at least the folk AB-Inbev think it is.

        Apparently, young people today prefer to smoke/vape a joint, compared to drinking alcohol.

        1. I’ll drink to that. Cheers.

      2. RocketTankski
        10th August 2020, 8:00

        Young ‘uns don’t watch live TV and would be very unlikely to tune in to F1 on purpose. So they must be watching because the old folk put it on over Sunday lunch. Therefore drinking at a family meal is often permitted?
        Forbes says “the average age of a global F1 viewer is 40. Only 14% of its viewers are under 25″.

    5. “Alcohol content was highly prevalent in the 2018 F1 Championship broadcasts, delivering millions of alcohol impressions to young viewers. This exposure is likely to represent a significant driver of alcohol consumption among young people.”

      So now Saudi Aramco and Nico and his Dad drinking zero % Heineken are prevailing . Imagine our young people exposed to a Saudi Oil Company !

    6. Re COTD, I think the FIA just cause themselves trouble all the time. Seems they insist on almost always trying to satisfy both sides. Ferrari engines; we’ll keep ferrari sweet by covering it up but say they have to stop whatever it is they were doing. With RP; we’ll give them a slap on the wrist but let them keep the break ducts on. I know it’s not that simple but it causes them more grief. If it’s a violation then penalise them, if its not, then play on….

    7. Looking at Hulk lap times on the third stint everything was normal. He was lapping in the 1:31s, sometimes in the high 1:30s. There was nothing suggesting tyre troubles. He was lapping the same has Stroll.

      If he had some issue with the tyres was not enough to make him slow down even a little. The last pit stop seemed to be exactly what it looked like, to avoid making the son’s boss look bad.

      1. Yeah, I am also unconvinced it was anything but that. Off course Nico is still pretty happy to have had 2 races where he could get back into it, who knows maybe even a third race.

        But he had been clearly besting Stroll all weekend.

        1. @bascb the thing is, that is then countered by the fact that there are recordings of the radio traffic between Hulkenberg and the pit wall on the cool down lap where Hulkenberg is heard ruefully discussing the tyres and was talking about the problems he was having during that stint.

          Considering that, on his own initiative, Hulkenberg was discussing how bad the tyres were, saying that they just weren’t working that well and that he thinks he probably went too hard at the start of the stint and blistered them, Hulkenberg’s own words seem to suggest that he genuinely was in trouble and that Racing Point did genuinely pit him because of tyre issues.

          1. It’s F1 2020 there are broadcasts of every driver complaining about tyres. Hamilton has been winning all the championships while complaining about the tyres.

            A normal situation when a driver complains about the tyres but the lap times are stable and there are few laps to go is to stay on track.

            But as people said, for Hulk it was ok. He had an opportunity to come back and he is trying to look good to the boss for a 2021 full time job.

            1. F1Recorder, there is a difference between a generalised complaint and Hulkenberg making specific complaints about a specific set of tyres and is talking about the specific way in which he used those tyres, which is what he was doing in those post-race radio transmissions.

              Furthermore, the argument that “the lap times are stable” is not actually correct. His lap times went from the high 1m30s bracket to the mid 1m31s bracket, such that his lap times are six tenths of a second slower per lap than they were at the start of his stint 12 laps earlier – it’s only “consistent” in the sense that his times were consistently getting worse.

              We are talking about a driver who has been out of F1 for 8 months and is driving an unfamiliar car in unusually hot conditions and with tyres that the tyre supplier themselves said were softer than they recommended using, was commenting on the radio that he’d probably gone too aggressive early in his stint and blistered his tyres – with the commentators also noting that his tyres were visibly badly blistered – and reporting issues with vibrations that sounded similar to the problems that those drivers who had tyre failures during the previous race had reported, with lap times that were getting worse over the length of his stint.

              There are a lot of factors there that could contribute to him having problems there, and there are reasons why both Hulkenberg and the team might have wanted him to pit to change tyres to head off the possibility of a tyre failure. Why is the idea that Hulkenberg might have genuinely hit tyre issues during that stint rejected with such vehemence?

              Why is it that people want to find a conspiracy and to create a hate figure, and why is it that when the comments by Hulkenberg himself undermine that conspiracy theory, people want to disregard those comments? I don’t know, but it irritates me that people seem to constantly want to find a conspiracy behind everything, as if somehow the idea that Hulkenberg might have had tyre problems implies some sort of unacceptable blemish on his record and thus has to be rejected.

      2. F1Recorder, mind you, when you look at Sainz’s lap times during the previous race weekend, his lap times were also very consistent in the 10 or so laps before his front tyre failed (lapping in the low 1m30s bracket).

        That race saw a catastrophic failure of his front tyre, but there was nothing obvious in the lap times that would make you think he was in trouble – so lap times might be a little deceptive there.

      3. I thought this at first, too – and was furious that RP brought the Hulk in just so that Papa Stroll could show the board of directors how his son deserves the Pink Mercedes seat because he “beat” Hulkenberg two weekends in a row. But I did read somewhere that Hulk was genuinely concerned about not finishing on those tires. And then I thought – why wouldn’t they give Stroll the extra points? He’s in it for the rest of the season – Nico really doesn’t need those points at all. F1 fans know who was the quickest man this weekend, regardless of the points tally.

    8. BTW, I’m fairly impressed with the F1 YouTube channel. As someone you doesn’t want to pay sky, you can get all support and main event race reviews and highlights pretty quick. And a live feed just before the race with interviews and stuff. Get to feel more immersed in the race without being there. Although no idea why people comment on those live streams, the ticker goes by in a blur with most of it just emojis or people going “who’s this? “..!

      1. I agree @millionus they have highlights up fairly quickly and at a good quality too.

        1. he was backing stroll up, stroll was not fast enough to pass though and when they freed stroll he didn’t go any quicker. RP would have stood a better chance of stopping albon by staying in formation in their drs train. RP should have disobeyed Mercs orders and stop later, they compromised themselves a bit.

      2. F1 and Mercedes leading the way on F1 youtube content. And a shout out to Lando with the best new site on youtube. Lando Norris Reacts. Lando does commentary on the Sky highlights, etc.

        And an interesting chat between Karun amd Lewis.

    9. I share the same views as the COTD.

    Comments are closed.