Rosberg surprised by high tyre degradation

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Nico Rosberg said he was surprised by the severity of tyre degradation during the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Pirelli have brought their hardest compounds to this weekend’s race, which are more durable than last year’s tyres, but high temperatures at the track on Friday meant some drivers got into trouble with their tyres earlier than expected in their long runs.

“It was a decent day, tough conditions out there,” Rosberg told reporters after heading the second practice session. “Really very hot, tough for the car, tough for the tyres even.”

“I never expected so much tyre degradation, it’s just massive degradation out there which is a big challenge.”

Rosberg predicted “lots of different strategies with the tyre” on race day. “Anything can happen really,” he added.

However Rosberg is not concerned about managing his 100kg fuel allocation for the race. “The fuel management is not a problem this year,” he said, “and especially this track – it’s not on the limit here”.

“So that’s not unusual in any way, it’s like last year. Just focussing more on the tyre mainly and getting the long runs done.”

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20 comments on Rosberg surprised by high tyre degradation

  1. Oh god, here we go again!

  2. Sam (@) said on 28th March 2014, 13:45

    Not one team is escaping the high tyre deg. It really is very simple. Don’t try to do the same amount of stops as you did in previous races. Add one and be done with it. It’s probably the best solution anyway.

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 28th March 2014, 13:46

    good to see a little bit of tyre deg. will make the races more dynamic!

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th March 2014, 17:57

      @sato113 – Good man, glad to see that not everyone has fallen out of love with tyre degradation. Some of the best dry F1 races of all time have come about as a result of degradation, such as China 2011 and Canada 2010, so why get rid of it? I look forward to the day where we have gotten rid of all pace variables, lined up the fastest cars and drivers on the sharp end of the grid, and people are surprised when they come home in the same order…

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 29th March 2014, 10:10

        i want to see a special one off race where all drivers drive in a road car race. even playing field! i believe Senna and co. did it in mercedes saloon cars back in the 80s i believe.

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th March 2014, 14:07

    I found it interesting to see that Hamilton was surprised what Rosberg could be not satisfied with, when Adam Cooper asked him about it (as they had topped both sessions)

  5. OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 28th March 2014, 14:18

    mercs are eating their tyres again

  6. davey said on 28th March 2014, 14:19

    So much for Pirelli going ‘conservative’ with there tyres to move away from high levels of degredation.

    Maybe shows that Pirelli’s tyre were not degrading through design & that they are as many thought just crap tyres.

  7. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th March 2014, 14:21

    Hmmm, maybe not worth getting up early to watch practice then, if everyone’s saving tyres there won’t be much in the way of action.

    But the new extra qualifying tyres should work well tomorrow.

  8. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th March 2014, 14:25

    It’s the second race of the new season and already the tyres are the main talking point again. Perhaps Pirelli should develop a range of non-artificially degrading tyres, to bring to tracks such as these, so we can talk about racing instead of nursing.

    Don’t get me wrong, for the last race in Australia the tyres were spot on, but if here drivers are struggling to get 10 laps out of the tyres even when they are trying to protect them, something is wrong.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th March 2014, 14:45

      They’re not the main talking point. It’s just that Sepang is well known for killing tyres. The circuit is abrasive, the corners are long and fast, and the ambient and track temps are very high.

      Even the Bridgestone’s struggled here. It’s nothing new.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th March 2014, 15:41

        @tophercheese21, Bridgestone did not struggle in the 2010 race, which was a normal one-stopper. It’s not that tyres in general cannot stand track temperatures of 50 degrees, but more that Pirelli’s design of artificially degrading tyres does not work properly in these conditions.

        As for tyres not being the main talking point, take a look at the “Friday practice – selected team and driver quotes” (http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2014/3/15616.html) from the F1 page, and you will notice that quite a lot of the talk is on tyres.

        • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th March 2014, 4:00

          Sure tyres are the main variable this race, but it’s only because this circuit, as I’ve said many times now, is incredibly tough on them. More so than probably any other track in Formula 1.

          For the vast majority of races though, the tyres will NOT be the main talking point.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th March 2014, 16:07

      When the first drops of rain come down tomorrow before / during Q1 talk of tyres will be gone again

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th March 2014, 14:43

    Sepang so tough on tyres regardless of temperature. But the long sweeping corners combined with 50+ degree track temps mean they the tyres are just melting.

    Everyone will struggle come Sunday.

  10. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 28th March 2014, 17:38

    Is Sepang not just a very tough track on tyres, with the heat and the surface etc. etc. Still think Mercedes have got pace in their pocket. But Red Bull are coming and hopefully Ferrari are picking it up and getting quicker.

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