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Race analysis GP Australia 2015: Mercedes with half throttle to a double victory

Race analysis GP Australia 2015
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Why did Rosberg lose the duel against Hamilton?

D he Mercedes duel between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg looked closer than it was. Lewis Hamilton always had the situation under control. 'When I pulled out a gap of 2 seconds, it was only a matter of controlling the gap,' explained the opening winner. 'There was no reason to go any further. When Nico increased the pressure, I was always able to react.'

One reason for the sovereign victory is the fuel-efficient driving style. Hamilton used a little less gasoline, although Rosberg did a lot of work on this topic in the simulator over the winter. This was one of the problems facing Germans back in 2014. Both cars were sent off with the same amount of fuel. Nevertheless, Rosberg had to slow down more often.

Team principal Toto Wolff pays tribute to his world champion: 'I can't explain that at all. Lewis built up a small fuel reserve at the beginning of the race. This buffer remained constant throughout the race . So he could always keep Nico at a distance. ' Rosberg himself couldn't find an answer either: 'I definitely attacked. But Lewis didn't make any mistakes. That's why I couldn't get any closer. When I saved fuel for a final sprint, he probably did the same to defend himself.' p>

How did Vettel get past Massa?

Behind the Mercedes, as expected, the duel between Williams and Ferrari provided the most tension. Felipe Massa could only hold his third place until the first pit stop. Then Sebastian Vettel passed by. Williams chief engineer Rob Smedley had to admit that Ferrari has the upper hand in the long run. 'When it came to the pit stops, it was clear to us that Sebastian was a little faster than us. So we had to think about something.'

It was clear to the Williams tacticians that Vettel with an early stop and fresh Reifen would overtake: 'So we decided to take the first step. But Sebastian was faster than we expected. He found around 8 tenths in the 2 free laps. Felipe unfortunately lost 1.3 seconds when he tried has to overtake Ricciardo. Even though the pit stop was really good, we got out behind him. '

Why didn't Kimi Raikkonen get a penalty?

Kimi Raikkonen was unlucky for a pit stop in Melbourne tracked. At the first stop, the Finn activated the clutch too quickly. Therefore hadturned the wheel before the wheel nut was tightened. That took the iceman around 5 seconds. At the second stop it went really wrong. The impact wrench was defective. With the wheel nut loose, Kimi hit the road again. After a few bends, he had to park the Ferrari.

Normally, the FIA ​​issues an 'Unsafe Release' penalty if a driver goes out onto the track with an improperly secured bike. This time the commissioners waived the consequences after a thorough investigation. 'The team stated that the pit stop monitoring system did not sound an alarm. When the problem was detected, the team asked the driver to stop the car immediately. Telemetry showed that the command was carried out immediately,' so the reason.

Why was Toro Rosso beaten under value?

Toro Rosso made a strong impression in free practice and qualifying. Behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams, the team seemed to be the fourth force. But the Red Bull sister team could not confirm this impression in the race. Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen struggled with problems from the start. Verstappen started on the slower, harder tire. As soon as he was on the soft rubbers, the internal combustion engine went on strike. Retired on lap 32.

Sainz got off to a good start on the soft tires. But when the race resumed after the safety car phase, a software problem caused the Spaniard to lose two places against Felipe Nasr and Daniel Ricciardo. At the pit stop, the rear left wheel didn't want to hit it, which meant a loss of 33 seconds, which brought Nico Hülkenberg past. When Marcus Ericsson's second Sauber appeared in the rearview mirror shortly before the end, the engine mapping went crazy again. In the end, only a disappointing 9th place came out.

Could Mercedes have been any faster?

The two Mercedes drivers were slowed down by the engineers for 54 laps. Saving fuel was the order of the day in order to give full throttle in the last 4 laps. If Mercedes had received more resistance, the Silver Arrows would have been even faster. Williams engineer Rob Smedley is certain: 'That wasn't the right pace for Mercedes today. We saw it in qualifying yesterday.' Hamilton was 1.4 seconds faster than the rest of them. That would have meant a lead of more than a minute over the race distance. So it was 'only' 34.5 seconds.

Mercedes was not only on the safe side when it came to saving fuel. The big lead also has advantages in other areas: 'For example, we don't have to change our tires all the way. We still have some safety reserves,' admits team principal Toto Wolff. The Austrian also believes that Hamilton did not take full risks: 'Lewis drove in top form. He always had some speed up his sleeve.'

The opponents complain thatthe great distance is bad for the sport. Above all, Red Bull makes politics. Wolff doesn't understand the whining of the competition: 'I tell them: pull yourself together, work hard and solve your problems, damn it! If they want to complain, they should go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Half a minute is not much . It's not as if we lapped the whole field. That was a perfect weekend for us. We expect the lead to decrease over the course of the season. '

You can find the highlights of the race in our gallery.


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