Rosberg: “When your day goes completely wrong”

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The big talking point from the Hockenheimring, was the race changing  Penalty issued to local favourite Nico Rosberg.

Nico was slow off the grid from pole position, losing out to teammate Lewis Hamilton and both red bulls going into turn one. Settling into fourth position, Nico soon set about recovering some positions.

If the start wasn’t bad enough, a bad day at the office was later compounded when Nico received a 5 second time penalty for running the Red Bull of Max Verstappen off the circuit.

In his post race interview Nico reflected on being 19 points behind team mate Lewis Hamilton going into the summer break.

“Nineteen points is not tough at all, tough is losing the race in the way I did today,” said Rosberg. “That’s very tough, and it’s going to take some time to digest in the coming days.”

The penalty Nico received has split many.  Some thinking it was deserved, the rest thinking it was harsh. Nico had this to say.

“I was very surprised that I got penalised, I didn’t expect that at all,” added Rosberg.

“It’s just one more of those things when your day goes completely wrong.

“All those things come together, but I don’t think it made a difference in the end. I couldn’t have challenged the Red Bulls I think anyways after that penalty.”

When asked about the pace of the Red Bulls, Rosberg replied: “Without the penalty I was in front of them, so the penalty cost me dearly, definitely.

“They were running on a good pace, yes. We are keeping an eye on them.”

Back to the penalty though… was it justified? Was it consistent with the events of Hungary?

When looking at all the other overtakes into the Hockenheimring hairpin, called turn 6, it could be argued that the stewards got this one right. Yes Nico achieved full lock, but this happened very late in the corner. He came from a long way back and there was no lock up on the way in, unlike Sainz Jnr overtaking Massa earlier in the race. Clearly not aiming for the apex of the corner maybe? The stewards thought so.

Viewers observed how the number 33 car of Max once again moved under braking entering the hairpin. Studying the footage and the telemetry though suggests the Red Bull was ready to take a normal line.

Hamilton is now 19 points ahead of Rosberg and a monosyllabic Lewis Hamilton – who appeared devastated to not have secured pole on Saturday – was transformed into a bouncing, skipping happy chap as he entered the press bull pen following his race win.

With an engine penalty ready to be deployed in Belgium after the summer break, a 19 points buffer is just what was the defending champion required.

The question on everyone’s lips now is will there be any more “rule tweaks” for Spa? Charlie now has plenty of time on his hands for the next three weeks.

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8 responses to “Rosberg: “When your day goes completely wrong”

  1. Sky had an article a few days ago asking whether Hamilton would take a double engine penalty in one race, i.e. two new engines. Not even sure if that’s possible, but if it is, maybe Charlie will be looking at that too.

    Even if Hamilton takes a single engine penalty in Spa and with the risk of getting another one till the end of the season, the problem for Rosberg would be the mental battle. He won the first 4 races because Lewis was out for other reasons, then at Baku Lewis shot himself in the foot; and in Spain, they crashed. In all other races and where they competed head-to-head, Rosberg lost; just like the past 3 years. That’s the biggest block to overcome because otherwise the cards are still stuck slightly to his favour!

      • Might even have been more than two! IIRC it got sufficiently silly with their cars taking grid penalties and drive-throughs that the FIA re-ruled that there was a maximum cumulative penalty a car could receive for a given race. At which point McLaren quite reasonably decided that once your penalty was already maxed out, why not change the engine again…

  2. I say the penalty was deserved. My guess is that Nico’s confidence is his weak point; if anything goes wrong in the race, he just can’t get over it and get on with the race.

    • Think back to mins before the incident, the Mercedes crew were heard to tell Nico a now or never speech. Blood rush to the head.

  3. You know, I’ve read both sides of the penalty argument, mostly the people arguing that Max moved under braking causing ROS to run a different line. Personally I’m not buying that. If you are allowed to charge into the corner carrying as much speed as you want only to stop at the very edge of the track limits before going full-lock, then this is a bad precedent because it just sets up for more and more kamikaze moves in the future. Someone is not going to be paying attention and get punted or worse.

    • Looking at it again, I’m not at all sure that Max was moving under braking anyway. Yes, you see him move right and then stop but I think that was him turning in for the corner and then realising Nico was coming charging up the inside and so aborting that line to avoid a collision.

      If a collision had occurred then, it would have been Nico’s fault. Likewise then, if running wide is caused by the car charging up the inside being unable to make the corner then that too is Nico’s fault. My only issue with it is that 5 seconds was the wrong penalty – he should have been forced to yield the place back which 5 seconds might – with a more competent stopwatch operator – have not been enough to achieve.

  4. Litmus test, as ever, would it have warranted a penalty if it had been a street circuit and the white line next to a wall?
    Undoubtedly.

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