Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Motorsport | Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton © Gallo Images

Mercedes flop again, blame tyres



Mercedes' hopes of winning their home race in Germany were over before the first curve. The culprit, according to Lewis Hamilton, were the tyres.

Hamilton started on pole position but was sandwiched by the Red Bulls of eventual winner Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber before the first bend. The Briton finished fifth, passing Jenson Button's McLaren in the final lap.

"That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn't have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third," Hamilton said.

"We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. We've clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn't work in these hot conditions. We'll keep working on it and the positive from today is that we were able to recover to fifth place with a good strategy and great pit stops, and we're still second in the constructors' table.

"Hopefully we'll have a better chance at the next race but, for now, there's a lot of hard work ahead of us."

The 2008 Formula One champion is still without a win after leaving McLaren for Mercedes this season. He is 58 points behind leader Vettel.

Mercedes have won six of the past seven poles but usually have been unable to repeat their speed in races.

Nico Rosberg, who won two of the past three races, was the victim of a bad miscalculation by the team in Saturday's qualifying. Thinking Rosberg's lap was good enough to qualify for the final and third session, the team kept him in the pit lane - only for him miss the final 10 by one place.

Rosberg was not a factor in Sunday's race and finished ninth.

"The car didn't feel so nice to drive today. We struggled a lot with the rear tyres, and that's why we weren't able to match the pace of the guys in the front," Rosberg said.

"We need to understand the new tyres a bit more because it seems that the new construction has shuffled things around, especially in these hot conditions. We have to do a lot of work in the next weeks to make sure we arrive in Hungary in good shape."

The next race in Hungary is in three weeks.

Hamilton said it "doesn't help" that Mercedes will miss the upcoming young drivers' test at Silverstone after being banned for using their current car to conduct tyre testing for Pirelli after the Spanish GP in May.

Pirelli supplied tyres with Kevlar rather than steel belts for Sunday's race after a series of blowouts at the British Grand Prix. A new compound will be used in Hungary and for the rest of the season.

Team principal Ross Brawn said the car underperformed in hot conditions.

"We have not yet done enough to convert our Saturday pace into race-winning speed in all conditions," Brawn said.

"The three-week break until Hungary will give us an opportunity to think about how we can make further progress on our tyre management as well as continuing to develop the core performance of the car."

Shop

Lewis Hamilton: My story
Lewis Hamilton’s explosive arrival on the Formula 1 scene has made front-page headlines
R112.64
Psychology of motorsport success
Motorsport is a highly addictive and extremely exciting activity
R369.89


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Guest Column
Fit as an F1 driver
Nico Rosberg turns around with a grin during a slight uphill section, shouting "Hey, what's the...

Reuters on Motorsport
Team prospects for the 2013 F1 season
Team-by-team prospects for the Formula One season starting in Melbourne, Australia, on March.