Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2014

Rosberg: Safety Car deployment was “wrong”

2014 Hungarian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg questioned the manner in which the Safety Car was used during the Hungarian Grand Prix, saying he was “very disappointed” on the consequences it had for his race.

Rosberg was leading by ten second when the Safety Car was sent out following Marcus Ericsson’s crash at turn four.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2014In a video he posted on social media on Monday Rosberg said the Safety Car “didn’t even come out at the wrong time, but the way it came out was just wrong, I think, from the race officials.”

“They sent it out at the wrong time because I got stuck behind it, although normally you’re supposed to do this average speed sort of slow lap, but I got stuck behind it right away,” he explained.

“And it was so slow that all the guys who managed to pit first, they got by me then. That’s not supposed to be the case so that was the main problem.”

Rosberg lost more time than usual behind the Safety Car because the Medical Car was also sent out, something which only happens in rare cases. Rosberg arrived at turn one just as the Safety Car was letting the slower Medical Car past.

After the Safety Car came Rosberg said he had a “brake problem – so I lost a place or two“.

That eventually allowed Lewis Hamilton to jump ahead of him through the pit stops, and Rosberg was unhappy his team mate refused to follow Mercedes’ orders to let him past.

“Then Lewis didn’t let me by, although he was ordered to do so, that’s obviously not good,” said Rosberg. “We need to discuss that internally.”

However Rosberg had no complaints about Hamilton’s defensive move at turn two on the final lap of the race – though he admitted his inability to pass his team mate was “the thing I’m most annoyed about”.

“I had a little opportunity and just so close, I didn’t manage to use it. It was just like 30 centimetres missing or something.

“What he did was OK, the way he defended, the guy on the inside it’s his corner, the guy on the outside needs to make it far enough in front that the other guy can’t push him out and I didn’t manage to do that. So that’s what annoys me most.”

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119 comments on “Rosberg: Safety Car deployment was “wrong””

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  1. I don’t think eHarmony could have put together a more well-suited couple. Nico and Lewis whine and moan and carry on about things that are beyond their control, as if life itself is out to get them. Nico should shut up about the safety car, whose ONLY mission is SAFETY FIRST, PERIOD/FULL STOP, END OF STORY. Safety first means the moment there is an unsafe situation, the correct steps are taken IMMEDIATELY to deal with that situation without concern for anything else. At that point, the race becomes irrelevant until the safety situation is dealt with.

    Nico SHOULD be MASSIVELY annoyed with HIMSELF, because he failed one of the tests of a true champion: he had ONE shot at passing Lewis at the end and chose a place where he had to place his car perfectly to control the corner and couldn’t. He chose to try the outside of Turn 2 where Lewis could ride him out over the kerbs and drop him so completely that he lost any chance to try again before the finish line. I have to hand it to Lewis: he knows how to overtake, and he knows how to defend. If Nico wants the WDC this year, he better learn quickly.

  2. The safety car will always affect the race, it’s part of F1 and drivers need to adapt to it accordingly. I guess the SC in Bahrain has been forgotten already but I guess that’s to due with Nico not being able to take advantage of the situation the SC gave him there.

  3. Then Lewis didn’t let me by, although he was ordered to do so, that’s obviously not good

    One of the most pathetic statements I’ve ever heard from a racing driver or sports person of any sort. Doubly so now Mercedes have stated the ‘order’ was a mistake.

    1. If that hasn’t changed the way people view Nico I wonder what will. The killer for him was really being unable to pass Vergne when Lewis did it on his first attempt. Sometimes you’ve actually got to put in work on a Sunday rather than expect to lead from the front all the time.

    2. Have to agree, especially after being so quick to deny he asked for the order. He was depending on it rather than his driving. Good sign for Lewis IMO, especiallly as you say with the team effectively withdrawing the order.

      1. What rubbish. The order was made by the team, not insisted on by NR. He only questioned it because he was told LH was to let him through. It’s not pathetic at all. An order like this has been done many times when one driver is faster and has to make up time due to his strategy requiring an extra stop. To say it is doubly pathetic because NOW Merc is saying it was a mistake is pathetic and looking at the whole thing in hindsight.

        The killer for NR was how he had bad luck with the safety car. Without that he would not have had to pass Vergne. Safety is first, and NR and everyone agrees with that, but that shouldn’t mean they can’t put 4 guys who got screwed by the safety car back in their earned positions before going racing again. Safety cars and the medical car and their pace should not be able to affect the outcome of a race other than to bunch the cars up but in the same order as when the safety car was deployed. I think the order they are in when the safety car is first announced and not even on the track yet, should be locked in.

        NR was on a different strategy so nobody should have been surprised at the order…the same order that has been given between two teammates on different strategies many many times throughout the years. If NR depended on it, or expected it, that should be no surprise as he was faster, just not faster enough, and had to make another stop vs. LH. When a team puts one of their guys on an extra stop, that guy has an extra 20 or so seconds to make up vs. the guys on one less stop. This is F1 101.

        I reiterate though, LH was right that he shouldn’t have had to slow to let NR go, and so he didn’t and that is fair game. It was NR’s responsibility to be even faster than he was vs LH at that point, and he was faster but not enough faster. I’m assuming he didn’t forget how to drive fast, and rather he was doing his best on those tires at that point, as he sure was flying near the end.

        1. Rubbish was Nico driving. Didn’t even come close to overtake Hamilton when the idiotic order came and spent “hours” behind Vergne.

    3. Did anybody alse notice Rosberg whining about Vergne speeding past the stricken Force India of Perez under the safety car? That was pathetic!!

  4. Is Britney getting a MANICURE there?

    We need more consistency around the safety car.

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    28th July 2014, 20:13

    But, as I said elsewhere… even from fourth behind the SC, he should still have walked it.

  6. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
    28th July 2014, 20:54

    Perhaps Rosberg isn’t the best overtaker of the lot, at least he’s not a crash driver like Hamilton.

    The thing about Hamilton is if he doesn’t crash into others (3 times in Germany) the he tends to crash himself on a first lap. LOL
    Lucky, lucky,lucky……

    1. lewis takes risks,thats why he has so many fans,he goes for it like a true racer.and at the end of the day he beat nico despite starting from the pitlane.

    2. That’s racing and that’s why Lewis has won more races in his career than Nico including 1 Championship whilst Nico has 0. At least Lewis wants to win fairly whereas Nico wants to win with either the help of team orders or cheating when he created his own pole position.

      1. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
        29th July 2014, 15:48

        @matt and @gm
        Crash driver none the less.

  7. gladys matope
    28th July 2014, 21:48

    Why would Nico expect to be given a place by Lewis? Another gift again? Aren’t 2 DNFs and 2 mechanical problems compared to Nico’s 1 DNF enough gifts? Nico is leading the championship but winning it is a different thing.

  8. This won’t go well in the long run …. He is an excellent driver, just do not count on him as a team mate ever. Always treat him as a driver from any other team! That is what it comes down to with him.

  9. HAHAHAHA, yeah, what’s next? Will talk to Vergne for not letting you pass?
    Alonso and Hamilton were behind after the safety car and finished ahead.. That tells the history..

  10. He can complain all he likes but it’s swings and roundabouts. Ricciardo was caught out when the second safety car caused him to lose his lead of nearly nine seconds. Anyway, it will be worse next year when some will have to do a standing start on worn tyres, when others may have had a chance to dive into the pits for fresh rubber. If he thinks the current situation is unfair, next year is far far worse.

  11. The timing of the first safety car is the least of Nico’s problems. Despite all the problems Lewis has had over this year, he has raced better, finished ahead of him when he had no right to and is only 11 points behind. The only time when the reverse has happened in the year and a half when they have been driving the same car is Bahrain 2013 [when the Mercs were low on fuel?], suspect that if the order hadn’t come out to hold station that would have still ended the same, but now we’ll never know.

    Nico’s inconvenient parking during Monaco Q3 came only days after Lewis questioned his desire to win. Lewis intimated directly afterwards that he would address that situation on track, perhaps like Senna, fortunately this has been through speed and not the other tactic Senna was infamous for. I don’t expect Lewis to give any favours to Nico this year and surprisingly has even recently praised Jenson as a team mate, who he did on occasion let past for strategic reasons. Subtext of course being that my team mate this year is not to be trusted.

    Worst of all for Nico, the last two races have indicated that Lewis’ best option may be to take a 10 grid place engine penalty early and have a fresher engine for the double-pointer because he will likely not lose out as badly as Nico would under the same circumstances.

  12. Of course the Safety Car deployment timing was wrong, when seen from Rosberg’s perspective. But the timing of the safety car can’t be decided by what’s convenient for the race leader. It is the *safety* car, after all. And in this case, the medical car was called for by the track marshal who first responded to the incident, and it must be allowed to drive to the scene without being surrounded by racing cars (iow, it has to drive in front of the SC). Yes, it was unfortunate for those who had already passed the pit entry, but safety must always come first.

    If anything, maybe this would make an argument for closing the pits during safety car running. Not even the Le Mans “slow zone” concept (which I otherwise feel is the best way to allow the marshals to work safely, while keeping the time intervals between the cars intact) would have helped here, since the medical car was called for.

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