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Mercedes win under threat?

NEWS STORY
06/09/2015

In the moments after today's Italian Grand Prix, the stewards at Monza requested a Mercedes team representative to report to them.

It is thought the team is under investigation for the tyre pressures on its cars.

In the final stages of the race, Lewis Hamilton, despite enjoying a significant lead over second-placed Sebastian Vettel, was told to up his pace, though a reason was not given.

Unhappy with the call, Hamilton did indeed up his pace, his team advising that the reason would be explained later.

"I have to say Bono, those last few laps were not cool," Hamilton told his engineer Peter Bonnington after taking the flag. The Briton immediately warned to observe "Talk mode zero."

With Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda refusing to shed further light on the mystery communications, paddock speculation shifted to the tyres, Pirelli boss Paul Hembery having previously warned that teams which flouted tyres pressure advice, in the wake of the incidents at Spa, would be investigated.

This was confirmed when FIA technical delegate, Jo Bauer, issued notice during the race - it was timed at 15:04 - that the German team was under investigation.

"On the grid and after the 5-Minutes signal the tyre starting pressure and tread surface temperature of the left hand side rear tyre were checked on car numbers 44 (Hamilton), 06 (Rosberg), 05 (Vettel) and 07 (Raikkonen) and were compared with the specifications of the official Formula One tyre supplier," he wrote.

"The specification for the minimum starting pressure is 19.5 PSI for the dry weather rear tyres and the maximum tyre blanket temperature is 110 C for all dry weather tyres.

"The tread surface temperature of the left hand side rear tyre of car numbers 44, 06, 05 and 07 was within the specification of the official Formula One tyre supplier.

"The measured minimum tyre starting pressure of the left hand side rear tyre of car numbers 05 and 07 was above the specified minimum tyre starting pressure.

"The measured minimum tyre starting pressure of the left hand side rear tyre of car number 44 was 0.3 PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure and the measured minimum tyre starting pressure of car number 06 was 1.1 PSI below the specified minimum tyre starting pressure.

"The tyre pressures were checked with the calibrated tyre pressure gauge of the official Formula One tyre supplier on all four cars.

"I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tweek, 08/09/2015 17:42

"Ok. It's been a few days. Why is there no news update on this?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by scf1fan, 08/09/2015 16:41

"@ Jet Jockey - Actually, I might take it the other way. After Spa, when the teams all "blew-up" at Pirelli due to two tire failures; damn near demanding that Pirelli deliver tires capable of absolute perfect performance; no excuses; Pirelli could do little else but protect their own butts. And with that in mind, I think MB needs to have their heads examined for trying to pull off the low tire pressure. Now, if it was due to some mechanical failure or faulty gage, etc. fine. But from their actions, that seems a little questionable.

I'll agree that it was a crock though to have the tires measured at the start of the race and yet nothing was done or said until the end. (And are they spot checking tires during the pit stops?) Perhaps that was just a first race jitter, but for the next race, the teams will have no excuse. Frankly I think the teams shot a few of their toes off by crying so loudly about the failures at Spa. Changing tire pressures was one way they could tune the handling of the car . . . now that will be much more limited."

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3. Posted by BWesty, 07/09/2015 7:14

"I'd be more concerned about the driver coaching element of the this fiasco. The minute Mercedes knew there was a chance that they could be penalised for infringing on the laws, they started to coach their driver, which, according to my understanding is also illegal in terms of the new regulations that came out a month or so ago.... just saying..."

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4. Posted by Jet Jockey, 06/09/2015 16:24

"At Posted by Tom2681...

Mercedes I believe, have already said that the tires were all adjusted with a Pirelli tech supervising the operation."

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5. Posted by Jet Jockey, 06/09/2015 16:20

"Wait a minute!!!

So the FIA knew "BEFORE" the start of the race that Hamilton's car left rear was -0.3 below the minimum required tire pressure which was imposed by them at Pirelli's request (to cover their a*s after SPA) due to "SAFETY CONCERNS" and yet allowed the car to leave in that condition for the race???

All I can say is the FIA is totally useless and in fact could have been criminally responsible if an accident were to have happened due to a tire blowout.

How can you possibly let a car go racing if you know is possibly at harm’s way?

Also having taken many times in my life tire pressures from racing cars to aircrafts, I can tell you anyone can make a mistake and actually let some air/nitrogen out while taking the reading... 0.3 below could have just been so a case.

In any case if anything happens to the final results of the race due to this miniscule amount in drop in PSI, it will be another black eye to Pirelli's and the FIA reputation in the racing world... What a joke this is!
Enter your comment here"

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6. Posted by Tom2681, 06/09/2015 16:20

"@Ro: If I'm reading the statement correctly, the issue is with the tyre pressures measured before the start ("measured minimum tyre starting pressure"). I'm wondering what Mercedes' excuse will be?"

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7. Posted by vermin, 06/09/2015 16:05

"More bureaucratic claptrap to screw up F1. Are the powers that be so very determined to shed viewers?"

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8. Posted by Ro, 06/09/2015 15:41

"Tyre pressures can and will change after the race. Bit pointless to blame Mercedes as the tyres are checked by Pirelli technicians. Perhaps another ploy buy the Italian Stewards to get Hamilton disqualified and have a Ferrari win the race, or am I being cynical ?"

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9. Posted by sumpnz, 06/09/2015 15:29

"So, what are the likely (or possible) penalties? 25 second penalty? More? DQ?"

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