According to Mercedes, pole sitter for the Japanese Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg was down on power compared to the fast starting Hamilton during the start of the Japanese Grand Prix, which potentially cost the German a victory.
It was a good initial launch by Rosberg, but it was the secondary stage where it had all gone wrong. The power deficit may inevitably suggest this. According the data from Mercedes, Rosberg’s engine overheated during the formation lap. The team have easily identified the problem, but show no sign of finding adequate reasoning why the problem occurred. Wolff thinks it may not just have had an impact on the start, but also in terms of the whole race, which could explain why Rosberg was so far off Hamilton’s pace, and more importantly why he almost spent half of the race pondering on the rear wing of Bottas’ Williams.
Rosberg’s misfortunes during the start means that the German has lost positions in the last four out of five races. At Silverstone, Rosberg fell mercy of the Williams. In Hungary Rosberg was swamped off the line by the two fast starting Ferrari’s, while in Spa Rosberg was prone to struggle with the new regulations, and dropped back behind Perez, Ricciardo and Bottas. In Italy, Raikkonen’s stalled Ferrari meant Rosberg had to take immediate avoiding action. In Japan, the eminent engine difficult to Hamilton meant the German was relegated to fourth.
“The initial getaway was good for both cars but Nico had a little bit of an issue with a hotter power unit,”
When it kicked in after a couple of seconds, he didn’t have the same power as Lewis.
“This is temperature-related. That was showing up on the formation lap.”
“It is important to get the clutch and engine into the right temperature window,”
“The driver manages that in the installation lap. So they are different procedures.
“Both of the drivers have worked on that. Today, that lap triggered different temperatures in the power units.”