Lauda kicks Rosberg back into line
It was a truly bizarre scene on German TV. Sebastian Vettel had just described his race in a vernacular that he would have been kicked out of a truckers’ joint for, because of foul language. Enter stage left – Niki Lauda, who launched a tirade of his own about how impossible a behaviour it would be to speak about Pirelli like that without having talked to them first.
Err… Earth to Niki? Spa 2014? Ring a bell?
It was obvious that Lauda was covering Pirelli. The reasons for that are easy to speculate about. Mercedes has an interest to implement the conservative 50/30% limits that Pirelli mentioned in their post-race press release, because it prevents daring strategies like Ferrari’s on Sunday. Problems in the Mercedes camp or an unusual strategy are the only way to beat Mercedes. If they help Pirelli implement the tyre limits, they eliminate one of the two ways they can be beaten. If that is the real reason behind Mercedes’ defending of Pirelli remains speculation, but it certainly does not seem to be the case that Mercedes unconditionally trusts the tyres. After Rosberg’s tyre mishap on Friday they changed suspension and camber settings way below the limits of what Pirelli declared safe.
However, one of the more vocal critics of Pirelli’s rather preposterous excuse for Vettel’s tyre blow-up, a theory that was immediately put in doubt by three teams (Ferrari, Force India, Lotus), was Nico Rosberg, himself a victim of a highspeed blow-up on Friday. “Tyres must not explode like that,” Rosberg told Sky Germany. “The next race is Monza, the fastest track of the season. He have to have safer tyres.”
Two days later, Rosberg has made a U-turn and his trust in Pirelli has been “restored”. “I’m sure Pirelli will have checked everything thoroughly and we will have a safe race at Monza.” Rosberg said, no doubt after an attitude adjustment courtesy of Niki Lauda, who made his point clear on Sunday.
“You can’t discriminate a partner like Sebastian has done. If one of my drivers had done that, I’d taken him aside to make it clear that we all work together. We are one team and that includes Pirelli.”
AMuS Crazy Stats : Belgian Edition
Original article: Auto Motor & Sport
German magazine Auto Motor & Sport publishes a number of interesting, funny or sometimes just crazy stats after each race. TJ13 presents the translation.
- In the classic battle England vs Germany, Blighty has has taken the lead again 6:5 in wins. However, the Fatherland’s anthem has been played at every single GP, since every race was won either by a German team or a German driver.
- Lewis Hamilton stood on the podium for the 80th time. Exactly as often as his idol Senna, who managed the feat with only one race less than Lewis. Alonso (97), Prost (106) and Schumacher (155) are the next targets to catch up to.
- Lewis scored the pole position for the sixth time in a row. No other active driver has managed that. The record stands at 8, held by Ayrton Senna (1988 Spanish GP – 1989 US GP). This being his 10th pole of the season, Lewis has already won the pole trophy for this year.
- Mercedes will only need seven more lead laps and they cannot be beaten anymore in that regard by any other team.
- If Lewis wants to equalize the record of 13 wins per season, jointly held by Schumacher (2004) and Vettel (2013), he needs to win 7 of the remaining 8 races.
- Romain Grosjean returned to the podium for the first time after 30 races. Since the US GP 2013 he had never finished better than seventh.
- In Hungary and Spa combined, six different drivers where on the podium. That was the first time that has happened since the return of turbo engines.
- Until Spa Sebastian Vettel was the only non-Mercedes driver, who had run all race laps. Now only Rosberg and Hamilton have run each and evry one of them.
- Since he managed to keep the car on the road, at least one of Sebastian Vettel’s streaks remain intact. Since the infamous clash with Webber in Turkey 2010, he has never crashed out of a race in over 100 GP.
- Due to the deliberate double engine change, McLaren incurred a mammoth combined 105 grid position penalty. That’s definitely a new record.
- In the last 44 races (since Barcelona 2013) only four drivers have won a race. (Rosberg, Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo). In 2012, the first seven races saw seven different winners.
- Lewis Hamilton has never won the 12th race of a season. He can change that at Monza.
- Since both Vettel and Alonso didn’t score any points, they are still joint record holders for most career points. Lewis Hamilton is only 65 points behind them. If the current point scheme is applied to historic results though, they all still have 2000 points to find until they come anywhere near Schumacher.
- Three drivers overtook their team mate in the overall standings: Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat.
- Except for Manor GP, every team has had at least one top-5 finish this year.