by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 182
Despite locking out the front row on Saturday, Mercedes were adamant it was the race they were focussed on, but after reportedly spending 90 percent of their efforts getting to grips on their rear tyre wear, the Brackley crew again fell foul to severe degradation. Mercedes’ complex suspension system appeared to have bridged the gap between a stable aerodynamic platform and consistent down force in qualifying, but again found them volte- face come race day. Whether or not the contest between aerodynamic efficiency and mechanical grip has been the main cause of their tyre degradation issues it hardly mattered when Nico Rosberg finished sixth – over a minute behind eventual winner Fernando Alonso. Such was the sensitivity of the tyres that Rosberg even felt compelled to advise his team it wouldn’t be wise to fight off the closing Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo. Adding to the Merc misery was star-signing Lewis Hamilton’s dismal race, which ended with nul points and a 12th-place finish. Starting alongside Rosberg on the front row promised much given Hamilton’s calculated drive to fifth place in Bahrain, but a lock-up at the start into Turn 1 saw Lewis lose position to Vettel and subsequently the hard-charging Alonso. From there on, brake balance issues plagued the Stevenage driver to the extent that he was reduced to fighting the Williams of Pastor Maldonado for 17th place, with Hamilton remarking over the radio: “It’s not fun being overtaken by a Williams.” After the race, Lewis was no less resigned, saying: “It was an experience that I don't really want to go through again... I had no grip, I couldn't push, and if I did, the tyre just went off immediately. I 'm absolutely lost today. I don't know what went wrong.” Confusing the issue for Mercedes however, was Rosberg’s comparable pace to the front-runners during the final laps on low fuel and running one stop less. “ It was ver y difficult,” reflected Rosberg. “ It’s so difficult to explain it, you know? Why? Why on one lap so fast and then on a long run it's so slow? It's not just rear tyres, it’s front and rear both, both just struggling. No explanation.” Whether or not it’s a heavy-fuel balance issue affecting performance, the three-pointed outfit will want to rectify proceedings come Monaco. Mercedes’ three-pointed turn 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BARCELONA