Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare

Mercedes still fears a repeat of its Singapore Grand Prix tyre woes, despite bouncing back in style to win at Suzuka on Sunday.

Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare
Podium: Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Mario Isola, Pirelli Racing Manager on the grid
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team celebrate with the team
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06 leads at the start of the race
Niki Lauda

Just one week after it failed to get its cars on the podium in Singapore after suffering a mysterious lack of grip, normal service was resumed in Japan as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg delivered a resounding one-two finish after locking out the front row of the grid.

The result has delighted the team, which expressed relief over the weekend that Singapore appeared to be a temporary glitch, but that has not ended concerns of it happening again.

Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda said: “Lewis did a fantastic job. Thank god we came out of the Singapore drama and we are back, that is all I can say.

“But my worry is that the next race comes in Sochi, which is a Singapore type asphalt. So it is not done and not that easy.

“We have to work hard and stay competitive, and we are looking good. But you only look good when it is done.”

Working group

Mercedes has not yet had the time to complete a full investigation into what went wrong in Singapore, but has set up a working group back at its Brackley base to go through events.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff said that getting proper conclusions was essential, because of concerns it could be exposed to similar troubles in the future.

“We have launched a group to investigate Singapore and, as expected, there is not one single answer, but many factors that contributed to the car not being competitive enough,” he said.

“We somehow have enough of an explanation for ourselves to park it there for the group which is present here at Suzuka, and make sure that on soft tyres and high downforce tracks it does not occur any more.

“But as with any car, there are tracks where you are looking very good and tracks where you are looking less good. At Singapore last year – in qualifying that was probably our weakest track.

“We should have looked at it last year, and make sure going forward we put more emphasis on high downforce tracks.”

shares
comments
F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint
Previous article

F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint

Next article

Analysis: Is it game over for Red Bull in F1?

Analysis: Is it game over for Red Bull in F1?
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022