Bernie Ecclestone and FOM have finally dragged themselves into the 21st century. Whilst the new F1.com site and app still have their problems, the commercial rights holder for Formula One is at least attempting to in some small way market the sport.
Race edits of 3-4 minutes are being produced by FOM TV and are available on F1.com this year. Though for some reason there appears to be no facility for these to be embedded on the thousands of F1 independent websites around the world.
The 2014 Monaco GP is now available to watch (here)
After 30 seconds on glamour shots to catwalk style music, the cars and drivers are revealed. Crucially, we hear the fateful exchange between Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team which cost him the race.
Peter Bonnington to Lewis Lewis Hamilton: Safety Car, Safety Car. So we are staying out.
Lewis Hamilton to Peter Bonnington: Are you sure it’s the best thing to stay out? These tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone’s going to be on options now.
Peter Bonnington to Lewis Hamilton: OK. Copy, copy. Box, box.
TJ13 has examined the lap charts and race footage and there was sufficient a gap from Sebastian Vettel to Daniel Kvyat, for the Ferrari to have pitted and rejoined ahead of the Red Bull. The Mercedes team were concerned about the time it would take for Hamilton’s worn prime tyres to warm up based on previous data they had from Saturday.
Mark Hughes explains that in during qualifying and FP2, “new primes needed five laps to reach temperature – it was feasible that a set of used primes would never have regained their temperature. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen many times before; with so little rubber left on the tread, it often cannot bend and twist enough to generate the heat needed to initiate the chemical bonding process that’s one of the two mechanisms of a tyre’s grip.
Without being able to generate good cornering loads, the core of the tyre remains brittle and inflexible too and cannot help the tread by bending under load, thereby making it yet more difficult for the tread etc in a vicious downwards spiral. It was quite feasible that such a tyre would have been disastrously gripless once the race restarted – possibly to the tune of five/six seconds per lap”.
Given this scenario, Hamilton and Rosberg would have been sitting ducks to a charging Ferrari. The problem was that Mercedes could not know whether Vettel was going to pit, because Hamilton was so far ahead of him.
The team had enough time to get Hamilton in and out and retain the lead of the race, however three factors came into play which finally lost Lewis the race.
Firstly, there were problems with the GPS meant Mercedes did not account for the Sauber of Felipe Nasr, who pitted around four seconds after Lewis Hamilton.
This meant Hamilton had to wait following his tyre change, to avoid being penalised for an unsafe release.
Secondly, Lewis badly missed his stop mark in the pit box, his wheels completely beyond the halt line, which meant the mechanics lost valuable time adjusting their positions to change his wheels.
Third, when Hamilton was released and at full pit lane speed following Nasr, he was 1.5 seconds behind the Sauber, this gap represents more time lost at the point of release.
TJ13 reported earlier this week, there was a problem with the pit equipment which signals to the driver he is ‘good to go’. So by the time the light went green, the Sauber was well past the point where a safe release could have been performed.
The Sauber pitting, the bad positioning of the car in the pit box and the slow release all meant Hamilton’s stop was 1.3 seconds longer than his first.
Lewis emerged at the safety car two line just 0.45 seconds behind Rosberg.
One moment of amusement in the F1.com video, is a radio call from Vettel as he passes Hamilton who had parked up at Portier on the parade lap after the chequered flag. In his clipped German accent he efficiently reports back to Ferrari, “I think he is going home – straight away”.
This video is not really for F1 fans, but may get shared by those more mildly interested in Formula One, like our very own podcast guest – Daryl.