Tag Archives: Singapore GP

Pirelli and FIA agree to new tyre pressure checking procedures

Pirelli and the FIA have agreed to new procedures for tyre pressure checks in order to avoid the confusion that followed the Italian GP.

In Monza the FIA undertook last minute checks on the four top cars only for it to emerge that there was a lack of clarity over exactly when Pirelli measured starting pressure. The Monza stewards called for new procedures to be agreed, and that led to a meeting between Charlie Whiting and Pirelli’s Mario Isola in Singapore.

In essence they have agreed that during practice and qualifying the starting pressure will be that measured when tyres are first fitted to the car.

For the tyres used at the start of the race the pressure can be measured at any time after the five minute signal on the grid – which means that teams will have to allow for a possible pressure drop after they remove the blankets on the grid.

Crucially teams will be allowed to adjust the pressures if an anomaly is found.

The FIA has now sent the teams a Technical Directive which notes: “We have been informed by Pirelli that their tyres may only be operated safely if the prescriptions set out in their Preview document at each Event are strictly followed.”

In explaining the new procedures, the FIA noted: “During all practice sessions, qualifying and race, excluding the set used to start the race, it will be the pressure measured immediately after the set of tyres in question is fitted to the car.

The race start set will be measured at any time after the five minutes signal.”

The FIA adds that in all cases: “When measured, the pressure must be equal to or higher than the minimum set out in the Preview. If the pressure is below the minimum requirement teams will be given the opportunity to adjust it.

Measurements may be taken from any corner of the car.

Measurements must be made with a gauge calibrated at or by Pirelli, and subsequently sealed by the FIA.

“After the checks have been carried out, and any necessary adjustment made in the presence of a scrutineers, no further adjustments may be made.

With regard to blanket temperatures the FIA has confirmed that checks will be made on the tread and the sidewall, and that “the temperature must be equal to or lower than the maximum set out in the Preview.”

There is no change to checking camber limits.

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Nico Rosberg: “It was just all over the place…”

Nico Rosberg’s Singapore GP was ruined by an electrical loom problem in the steering column that in effect meant that the controls on the wheel were not communicating with the rest of the car.

After starting from the pit lane and running some slow laps at the back of the field he retired at his first pit stop.

“The toughest day for me this year, definitely the case, even worse than Silverstone, for example,” he said. “It was probably a connection in the steering column, between the steering wheel and car, but not at the steering wheel, so even changing the steering wheel didn’t make a difference. None of the steering wheel functions worked, I had no hybrid power, no DRS. The gear paddles sort of worked, which was strange, but they would always upshift two gears at a time, so I had no fourth gear, I had no sixth gear, it was just all over the place. And that’s why I was also very, very slow.

“And my brake balance was completely in the wrong place, because I couldn’t brake properly, and I couldn’t change that. Even coming into the pit stop I didn’t have the pit limiter, I couldn’t go into neutral, I couldn’t do anything. So they were going to jack me up, I have to go full speed, and then they drop the car and I go sort of thing. Then they decided it was too dangerous, I don’t know what, and we called it a day.”

The frustrating thing for Nico was that when the car was warmed up with a mechanic in the cockpit, there was no sign of a problem.

“[It started] as I got in the car in the garage. They’d sat in the car five times just before I got in, doing all sorts of checks, everything was OK, then I got in the car, and it didn’t work any more. Which is crazy.”

Rosberg was off in the pace in the few laps he did, but said he hadn’t given up: “Even then I still had hope, because if all of a sudden things had come alive, then even then I still I had a race, with safety cars and everything. Until they switched my car off and pushed it in the garage I still believed in doing a good race.”

Rosberg admitted he was disappointed with reliability: “From a team perspective reliability is our weakness, and we need to get to the bottom of today, and just keep on pushing and try and improve on that. That’s the key thing for us.

“It’s clear that that is the point that we need to focus most on, because the performance is there, again in the race today, very strong, it’s just reliability that needs to be improved.”

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Nico Rosberg: “I think a great result is possible…”

Nico Rosberg proved to be the closest challenger to the dominant Sebastian Vettel in Singapore GP qualiying, and the Mercedes driver will start alongside his fellow German in Sunday’s race.

Vettel stood on his time from his first run and left Rosberg and others to attack it with their second runs, and Nico missed stealing pole by just 0.091s.

Unfortunately Sebastian especially has been really quick the whole weekend but it was very, very close in the end,” said Rosberg. “A pity, because one tenth more, with the way they gambled in the last qualifying – one tenth more would have been possible somehow. That would have been great, but anyway, second place is still a good result. And it gives me a good position to start the race tomorrow and I’m also very confident about our race pace. It’s looking OK, so I think a great result is possible.”

Rosberg, who won in Monaco this year, has been quick in Singapore in the past.

I really like street tracks generally. Always been quick on them and again today I felt comfortable with the car. Really the whole weekend, the progress has been nice. Starting on Friday, I wasn’t very happy with the car and everything, wasn’t feeling very good.

We just worked through it, and really optimised it and it was just perfect in qualifying then. It’s just everybody together: me with my engineers, the mechanics, everybody working together well. I’m pleased with second. I think Sebastian was out of reach this weekend, all weekend, so second is OK. And with a good race pace, should be good tomorrow.”

Asked about the chances of beating Vettel he said: “I’ll give it a go. For sure, he’s quicker on race pace, we saw that on Friday so if I can get by, then it’s possible that I can stay in front but it’s all down to the start. I think the left hand side has a little bit less grip than the right hand side on this track at the start but we will see. It’s possible.”

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Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s not like we are 20-year-old guys any more…”

Kimi Raikkonen confirmed today that the financial situation at Lotus played a big part in his decision to move to Ferrari.

It’s no secret that the team struggled to pay the Finn’s salary and point bonuses last season, and has fallen behind again this year. Nevertheless it was intriguing that he was so open about the issue in the public forum of a press conference. Now that he’s definitely leaving he has no reason to be coy about it.

“There was a lot of things and for sure they know what it is.” said Kimi when asked what Lotus could have done to keep him. “It’s hard to say which way it would have gone if that would have had happened but the deal’s done now, and I’m very happy with the new deal.”

Later he was asked why he continued to show up given that he had not been paid: “I like to race and then obviously that’s the only reason why I’m here; it doesn’t matter which team it is. The reasons why I left from the team is purely on the money side, that they haven’t got my salary, so it’s an unfortunate thing. But like I said, I want to try and help the team as much as I can and I like to race.”

Meanwhile Kimi seemed bemused by the fuss about his return to Ferrari.

“I just have to say things change in Formula One a lot. I never had a bad feeling with them really. But I mean I still have a lot friends and good memories from there. I knew that my contract will end at the end of this year, so obviously I had to make some kind of decision what to do for next year, and now it’s been done.

“I know the team and I know the people. Obviously there are some new people and some more have left since I was there, but most are the same. I don’t think this will be too difficult to go there and do well. The cars will be obviously different [in 2014] so I think that will be the most difficult thing, to get the cars right and get them running reliable, and whoever makes the best car will probably make the best out of it.”

Kimi says he sees no problems in the relationship with Fernando Alonso: “I don’t see the reason why it wouldn’t work. We are all old enough to know what we are doing and for sure the team is working for the right things to make sure. If there is something, I’m sure we can talk it through. It’s not like we are 20-year old guys any more. I might be wrong, but time will tell, but I’m pretty sure everything will be good.

“For sure, you always learn from different team mates; everyone does different things. Maybe they do something better than you but often there are a lot of things that only suit one guy and it doesn’t work if you try to do the same thing for yourself, it’s not going to work. I know the team, I know the people. Like I said, I have no worries to go there and have something that wouldn’t work. I don’t really worry about it, I’ve never worked with Alonso. I obviously know him from racing but I’m sure it will be fine.”

Raikkonen is confident that Ferrari will have a good turbo package in 2014.

“Obviously I hope so. They built very good cars and engines in the past, they’ve won a lot of championships as a team, and then you have to look on the other side at teams like Red Bull or Lotus with Renault who have done very well. It’s very hard to say which way it’s going to go with the new rules and who’s going to have the best package.

“There are a lot of stories about certain engines that will be much stronger than others, but there are so many different things that you have to look at and go through and make sure that it works that I have no idea which team will be strongest and which team will come out on top. We have to wait and see, really, for the first few tests.”

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