Rosberg: Safety Car deployment was “wrong”

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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.”

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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

  1. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th July 2014, 11:55

    It was on Sky, therefore it never happened. Since I haven’t been allowed to see the incident, I couldn’t care less about all this post-race bickering.
    Ricciardo does the PR so much better than these two, he shows F1 in a good light (and not many people do that right now)

  2. Manu said on 28th July 2014, 12:57

    The safety car didn’t help but it didn’t lose the race for Nico, as I recall Alonso was also behind the safety car, so was Vettel. Alonso overtook Vettel Rosberg and JEV and led the race, had Alonso stopped for a third time he would have still finished ahead of Nico. So basically given Nico was third after Jenson and Kevin both pitted he was still in a good place to win the race. But he let both Alonso and JEV through and couldn’t overtake JEV, thats what lost him the win.

    • Had Rosberg been #1 to the pit, he would have been able to control the race from the spot he’s most used to during this season: the front. The safety car definitely lost him the race here.

      His inability to overtake is another matter – but if Rosberg was still in the lead after the SC episode, I don’t think he would have lost a single position. It’s easy to control the race from the front as a Mercedes.

      • manu said on 28th July 2014, 13:15

        True, but you have to adapt if the situation changes, you can’t just expect to always control from the front, sometimes you have to actually fight for the win. You didn’t see Alonso complain about the safety car coming at the wrong time, he just got on with it, and he almost won (this given he was behind Nico after the first stop).

  3. Todfod (@todfod) said on 28th July 2014, 13:15

    Funny that Rosberg is complaining about the safety car deployed. What does he think Rosberg comes before safety? Are safety cars being deployed now to make sure the leading driver is not affected?

    I think Nico needs to man up and race Lewis. He couldn’t get by him in Bahrain with a significant tyre advantage, nor could he mount a serious challenge here in Hungary.

    Since when did Nico become so reliant on team orders to get by his teammate?

    • manu said on 28th July 2014, 13:31

      The safety car comes out and ensures that it picks up the leading driver, this rule was in place after Turkey when some drivers where affected by it coming out so early. With that being said it is not the safety cars responsibility to let Nico pit before coming out, you cant’ have Charlie call the teams and tell them Im thinking of brining the safety car out so pit now if you don’t want to be affected. The safety car came out when it did and that was just bad luck on Nico. But he could have still won the race.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th July 2014, 14:01

        Of course safety comes first and to suggest NR thinks otherwise is unfair. If they have to just get the safety car and a medical car out there no matter where the cars are, that’s fine and correct, but I’m not convinced they shouldn’t adjust things once the safety issue, which is the priority, is dealt with. So I guess the golden question is should a safety car be able to take the top 4 cars and displace them? Or should perhaps their positions be locked in place as soon as the decision is made to deploy the car, even if the car isn’t physically out on the track yet? Let the 4 cars do their pit a lap after everyone else and then be able to take back their spot they were in at the time the safety car announcement halted any racing for position. If all along over the years a safety car could be used to scupper a leader’s race, or several of the top cars, wouldn’t we have seen a ton of intentional crashes by now to the point where they simply would lock in the order to avoid such things occurring? Do we want the timing and literally the pace of a safety car and a medical car determining the race outcomes, or should they be a necessary but neutral aspect?

        • Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 29th July 2014, 0:02

          There was a car almost on the track after a giant shunt. They deployed the SC and that’s it. The pits are open, the rule is that and has been for years. NR was in the wrong place at wrong time, that’s all. His complaints made his race even more ridiculous.

  4. evered7 (@evered7) said on 28th July 2014, 14:25

    The pit entrance could have been closed to prevent others from taking an unfair advantage. Once the SC has collected all the drivers, they can re-open it for the teams to attend to their cars. Safety ensured and leader’s position is not affected as well.

    I believe they had the pit lane closure at some point in the early years. Wonder what made them change it though. Or I could be totally wrong about the rule being in place earlier.

    Good for him to acknowledge his inability to pass Lewis. All other actions wouldn’t have mattered and he would have scored a few more points over his team mate.

    Good Luck Rosberg for the second half of the season.

    • manu said on 28th July 2014, 16:54

      I believe they had the pit lane closure at some point in the early years. Wonder what made them change it though. Or I could be totally wrong about the rule being in place earlier.

      I suspect Bernie had something to do with it, changing this would create more of a spectacle, had they closed the pit lane the racers would all come back where they were and the same follow the leader would have continued. So to make it more exciting leave the pitlane open and make it more of a gamble ;)

    • Kraven83 said on 29th July 2014, 10:37

      The rule was on for just 2 years: 2007 and 2008. Back then it was silly because fuel was a crucial factory in race strategies. So after few hiccups (drivers that absolutely had to come in despite the closed pit-lane or they would’ve run out of fuel), FIA dropped it for 2009.
      Now the situation is radically different: since there is no need for refuelling during the race, it all comes down to a “free pit” and an unfair advantage for those who happen to be at the right place at the right time. IMHO they should bring that rule back or, even better, let the cars pit in whatever order and then have them re-create the same order they were in before the SC deployment.

  5. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th July 2014, 15:09

    I think Rosberg probably didn’t weight his words too carefully, though I don’t mind him complaining about the safety car a bit, and anyway it’s nice he always does these post-race videos. I’m still baffled by the whole team order episode though, and I find it embarrassing that Rosberg brings it up again. Does he really expect his only championship rival to move over for him, so he can score more points (in the process also finishing ahead of Hamilton)? Words fail me to describe how ridiculous I find this notion.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th July 2014, 23:08

      @adrianmorse I think of it this way. It is not a question of did HE really expect his only rival to move over for him…the TEAM did…THEY made the order…so why wouldn’t NR expect that? It was a simply theory that being on an extra stop meant NR had to make up time to maximize his strategy and his day. That’s what they’re there to do.

      So envision if NR was much faster than LH, like he was near the end, but mid-race like when the order was given. Sure NR was faster, but not by 2.5 to 3 secs like near the end. But what would the conversation be like around the water cooler if LH went against the team and tried to hold back a much faster NR needing to make up time to do an extra stop? I doubt LH would be looked upon in quite the same light. On the same strategies…sure…hold him back…race it out…it’s for the win and ultimately the WDC. But the team put them on different strategies. That to me put some onus on LH to allow half the team to see their strategy through. Not the way it played out, sure. But again, what if NR was right on LH’s gearbox? Even Lauda said LH would have let NR go if that was the case. So I don’t get why people see so much ridiculousness in this, other than perhaps looking at it with the luxury of hindsight.

      And sure, there are those who would have applauded LH even if he held back a very much faster NR and did it against team orders, but half the team, and many fans, would have thought that would have been unsporting and in poor taste and selfish, to scupper half the team and not allow them to maximize their driver’s chance. Some would have thought that the sign of a true WDC…others, the equivalent of cranking the boost against team orders in order to stay ahead ie. needing a cheap shot to win. WDC-level do-what-it-takes type stuff, sure…honorable and sporting? Not so much.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 29th July 2014, 6:02

        @robbie, I don’t agree it would be unsporting of Hamilton to keep Rosberg behind, even if Nico had been much faster. In the current situation of having no other WDC challenger, and having the WCC all but wrapped up, the drivers should not be asked to move over for each other, and Toto Wolff has since admitted as much.

        If there had been a five-way title battle like in 2010, or if the WCC had been on the line, or if they had not been fighting for the WCC, then the discussion might be different. Even so, in the past team orders were banned because they were seen as unsporting, not drivers racing on track.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th July 2014, 12:35

          @adrianmorse Fair comment. I don’t entirely disagree but I do think Nico would have a bit more support if his strategy was scuppered by LH in a dramatic way, let’s say. Am about to read the admission by Wolff you refer to but that’s hindsight now. At the time they did in fact request LH not make it difficult for NR strictly due to different strategies, and I do think the tone would be a bit different toward NR if LH had really gone out of his way to hold NR back.

          Team orders were banned after an extremely blatant act, that of Reubens letting MS by in Austria 02, and I’m just saying LH holding back NR much more blatantly would have been looked on differently by some, including within the team.

  6. Slowhands (@slowhands) said on 28th July 2014, 16:22

    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.

  7. Hydro (@hydrouk) said on 28th July 2014, 16:24

    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.

  8. David BR2 said on 28th July 2014, 18:01

    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.

    • 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.

    • lockup (@lockup) said on 28th July 2014, 21:15

      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.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th July 2014, 22:41

        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.

    • NWahome said on 19th August 2014, 3:30

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

  9. Jason (@jason12) said on 28th July 2014, 19:27

    Is Britney getting a MANICURE there?

    We need more consistency around the safety car.

  10. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 28th July 2014, 20:13

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

  11. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge) said on 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……

    • matt said on 28th July 2014, 21:08

      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.

    • 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.

  12. gladys matope said on 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.

  13. wolf said on 28th July 2014, 23:36

    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.

  14. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 28th July 2014, 23:51

    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..

  15. BrendanH (@brendanh) said on 29th July 2014, 1:44

    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.

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