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44th Pole position for No. 44: Rosberg confused the first set of Q3 tires

44. Pole position for number 44
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E s was a nice numbers game: Car number 44 celebrated its 44th pole position. The 4th in Canada. Lewis Hamilton is clearly on the best starting position with 1.14.393 minutes. The lead over Nico Rosberg is a comfortable 0.309 seconds. Kimi Räikkönen is even more behind with 0.621 seconds.

The big lead over the team-mate and the biggest rival from the competition came as a surprise. In Q1, the two Mercedes drivers were only two thousandths of a second apart. In Q2 it was 0.012 seconds. And then suddenly Rosberg collapsed. What had to do with the first set of tires in the final section of the qualification.

Extra tire set is a 'journey into the unknown'

Rosberg was annoyed: 'Up until then it was going well. I actually had a good rhythm. Suddenly the grip and the balance were gone. The car oversteered.' When the driver asked his pits, he said: 'Don't worry. It was our worst set of tires.' Which raised the question of how did Mercedes know beforehand that the tire set would be bad? The team did not want to provide any information about this.

The explanation: The first tire set in Q3 was the extra set of tires that the FIA ​​awarded the top ten. It is only distributed to the teams at the last minute. That is why Mercedes engineers cannot use it to carry out the complex tire analysis that they normally put into tire studies.

This ranges from weighing the tire set to special preparation of the rubber. For the engineers it is therefore a 'journey into the unknown'. They rate it as worse than any other tire set, even if it isn't always. There is very little information about him.

From oversteer to understeer

Rosberg didn't want to do that to be satisfied. 'I can't just say that the grip will come back and just watch. That's why we reacted with the tire pressure and the front wing adjustment.' The front wing was made flatter in order to have a better flow and more downforce at the rear. But the shot backfired. Oversteer became understeer. And so Rosberg had no chance against a Hamilton in top form. That was already well done on the first lap.

The second was two tenths slower, 'because I was in the secondHe had crossed the curve. 'It would still have been enough for pole position with 1.14.570 minutes. Rosberg was annoyed:' Little things like the tire can have a big impact. Everything has to be just right for pole position. '

Hamilton was amazed at how smoothly his qualification went.' I had a terrible third training session. I ran a brake plate into the first two sets of tires. The tires could no longer be used. My eyes almost fell out because of the vibrations. 'When Hamilton wanted to pull on a' Supersoft 'set for a qualification check, the red flag stopped him.

The world champion went in with practically no feeling for his car the decisive time chase. “I was surprised myself how quickly I found my rhythm.” Mercedes sent him two laps longer than usual on the track in Q1 to sharpen his sensitivity.

Ferrari was rated faster

Hamilton was also astonished by the large deficit of Ferrari: 'According to our analyzes, we assumed a two-tenths lead over Ferrari.' Team boss Toto Wolff tried to classify the strong long run performance of the red cars correctly. ' On Friday it looked like Ferrari had taken a massive step. The GPS measurements worried us. That doesn't match the lap times on Saturday. '

Mercedes assumes that Ferrari was unusually light on Friday. That is surprising, because in Montreal you actually drive the endurance runs with an almost full tank to watch see how much the brakes are used. Mercedes did not assume that Ferrari is cheating itself. One engineer also noticed: 'The tires on the Ferrari have deteriorated more than usual. I would be surprised if they didn’t in the race got under pressure from the cars behind them. '


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