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Bad luck for Rosberg: Don't be afraid of Ferrari

Wilhelm
Bad luck for Rosberg
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L ewis Hamiltons collects pole positions. The best time in training for Monza was already number 49. And the seventh in a row this year. Nevertheless, the world champion can not beat calmly. The lead over the Ferrari duo was just 0.234 seconds. Surprisingly low, after the Mercedes still had a lead of 1.6 seconds in the first practice and eight tenths in the second. But the trend reversal was already announced on Saturday morning. Sebastian Vettel came close to Hamilton within 0.264 seconds.

Rosberg with the spa engine

Then things got hectic in the Mercedes garage. The engineers discovered water in the oil of Nico Rosberg's drive unit. There were two possible explanations for this. Either a leak in the heat exchanger or a defective cylinder head gasket. There were only two copies of the new engine. Engine boss Andy Cowell didn't approve it until Thursday afternoon.

Since a quick analysis was not possible, Mercedes decided to upgrade the Rosberg car to the old engine specification. He got the spa engine, which already has five GP weekends under its belt. Hamilton was sent into qualifying at the risk of a similar defect. 'We would not have made two changes at once,' regretted team boss Toto Wolff. The mechanics screwed Rosberg's new unit into the Mercedes with the number 6 in the record time of one and a half hours.

Wolff praises the new Ferrari engine

Was Hamilton's narrow lead due to the fact that Mercedes operated the new engine with braked foam due to the unexplained cause? Wolff denies: 'That has nothing to do with it. According to our calculations, Ferrari has taken a big step with its expansion stage. You can now obviously turn up the power on Saturday.'

The performance increase of their own upgrades will continue downplayed. 'It is still minimal at the moment. The modifications are the platform for a completely new development direction that should bring us significantly more performance,' explained Wolff. Niki Lauda put the current advantage of the 'miracle engine', which devoured 7 tokens, to a tenth.

By resorting to the old version, Rosberg had a disadvantage that was definitely more than a tenth. 'Such an old engine loses power compared to a new one,' Wolff added. Rosberg should be together on all straightshave lost between two and three tenths on Hamilton. That roughly corresponds to his deficit on his teammates. Rosberg did not want to assert the slight understeer that the Mercedes exhibited after changing the engine. 'My lap was really good.'

Heat exchanger at Rosberg defective

Hamilton doesn't let the two Ferraris in his rear-view mirror make him nervous. Even if there are many opportunities to lose the lead at the 638 meter approach into the first corner. Hamilton full of self-confidence: 'Ferrari definitely hung up, but my lead could have been bigger. I didn't have optimal laps. I don't think Ferrari can turn up the power that much in the race. Our long runs on Friday showed that our racing speed is better . ' Rosberg agrees: 'I can beat the Ferrari. It will be more difficult with Lewis.'

In the evening the uncomfortable feeling that the engine inspection could reveal a defect, the Mercedes to change the engine was also gone Hamilton's car could have forced. That would mean a start from the pit lane. But the engineers found out that a leak in the heat exchanger mixed the water into the oil. The engine is tight. Precautions can be taken for this.

Ferrari has come closer to Mercedes in two disciplines. At top speed, Kimi Räikkönen was even 0.7 km /h ahead of Hamilton with 352 km /h. At the same time, he lost just under a tenth to the Mercedes in the most winding sector. Lauda suspected that the new requirements for wheel camber and tire pressure might have helped Ferrari more than its own cars. Hamilton waved it off: 'We have the best team in the field. If anyone reacts correctly, it is us. For me, Ferrari only caught up in power.'

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