Mercedes failure to launch

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis

For the second successive race running, both Mecedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have endured botched starts to their races.

In Silverstone both were able to recover their respected positions later through strategy, poor calls from Williams and changing weather conditions.

However at yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, they were not so fortunate. Both drivers were overtaken at the start by the fast starting Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Sebastian Vettel went on to secure his and Ferrari’s second race win of the season.

This has been an inherent problem for Mercedes dating back to the Spanish Grand Prix when second place man Lewis Hamilton was passed by Sebastian Vettel before he made it to turn one and was fortunate not to lose second to the Williams of Valteri Bottas.

A change from the 2014 to the new 2015 clutch along with software issues were highlighted as the reasons behind the poor start.

Speaking yesterday after the post race interview with Mercedes team principle Toto Wolf, he was asked as to the reasons behind the teams poor starts lately:

Yep, it was a botched start – and that was the second time in a row! We had a lot of wheel-spin – and that we didn’t have at the pre-start. Now we have to analyse why that all happened.

With the change in regulations relating to banning of pit wall assistance at race starts from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards, TJ13 revealed during their podcast that Mercedes were in fact practicing the new start procedures in anticipation of the changes.

This was also a question asked of Toto Wolf, to which he replied:

Yes, we’ve been practising Spa-starts on Friday. Probably we’ve traded the future for the present. You always should live in your time – we’ve probably that experienced today.

Given the clear advantage which they currently hold over their competitors, Mercedes could be seen to have become somewhat complacent and cocky by choosing to spend more time perfecting their race starts in anticipation for the regulation changes.

But if the same problem raises its head yet again come Spa, then clearly Mercedes has an issue that should be of grave concern to them and unlike Williams at Silverstone, Ferrari will be looking to take advantage of any such mishaps.

9 responses to “Mercedes failure to launch

  1. “Complacent and cocky” That would be Paddy Lowe to a T.

    According to the Telegraph, Hamilton isn’t expecting the problem to be sorted out by the next race, when drivers have to start unaided by the team. Should Rosberg be driving as badly at Spa, I hope Mercedes order him to move over should Hamilton end up behind him again.

  2. Would this still likely have happened even without Massa’s botched positioning which forced the first start to be abandoned ?

  3. Even if the same bad starts occur in Spa for the Mercs, I doubt they’ll have problems reaching the podium there. Spa is a quick track and engine-dependent, a bit like Silverstone. Hungary is like Monaco without the barriers and that’s why you saw the RBRs and McLarens do well there, aero was more important that horsepower.

  4. Hi F1 fans,
    I have an off-topic question and I would be grateful if you can help me out.
    I got 2 VIP tickets for Monza as a business gift. Although I watch F1 since mid-eighties when I was 5 years old, I have never been to a F1 race. Strange, I know.
    I have two questions for you:
    1. What is the best place to sleep (probably in Milano?). Hotel? Air b’n’b?
    2. What is the best way to come to the racetrack on saturday on sunday? With your car? Bus? Train?
    By “best” I mean reasonably priced 🙂

    • Best tip: Come early. And I do mean early. If the gates to the track open, you should be already waiting for an hour. (At least).
      As for sleeping places, I’ve never been to monza(only spa and Nürnberg ) and the most fun is camping. Great ambiance.great parties. Only like minded people. But again, I don’t know how that is in Italy. But I geuss it’s the same everywhere. (At least at the classic tracks). Best transportation, if you go camping, is on foot. Or if it’s too far by foot take a cab. Lots of them. And you can argue over prices because there are so many that want to take you.

    • I’ve done Monza a few times. It’s not the kind of place that has great transport links to be honest, so I’d advise driving there. When you do get there, try following some of the coaches, as they often all park up together on the nearby industrial estates, and the drivers stay with the vehicles throughout the race – you then get free parking with guards 🙂

      If you’ve got VIP tickets, I’m guessing you have allocated seats, in which case turning up really early on race day isn’t essential.

      All this Monza talk reminds me, I’ve still got a bottle of Jarno Trulli wine that I’ve not yet opened from my last visit !

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