Mercedes F1's Wolff concedes Rosberg was fortunate with Austin VSC

Mercedes' Toto Wolff says the Formula 1 team will take the good fortune of the United States Grand Prix virtual safety car that helped Nico Rosberg, given its recent issues

Mercedes F1's Wolff concedes Rosberg was fortunate with Austin VSC

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was set to finish second to Lewis Hamilton at Austin, only to be undone by the VSC period that followed team-mate Max Verstappen's gearbox failure.

How Hamilton won, but Rosberg didn't really lose

Mercedes brought Hamilton and Rosberg in for their second stops on lap 31, and the reduced speed of Ricciardo - who pitted six laps earlier - meant Rosberg emerged ahead.

Wolff said he accepted the gain, given Mercedes' 2016 startline issues and unreliability including Hamilton's late engine failure at Sepang.

"I think it would be a different scenario [otherwise]," he said.

"We had the pace, and it was very fortunate when the VSC came out.

"We have not been very fortunate in the last few races, so we will take that."

Rosberg acknowledged the VSC played its part in limiting the damage to title rival and race winner Hamilton.

In finishing second, Rosberg lost seven points to Hamilton rather than 10 if he was third, with his championship lead now 26 points with three races remaining.

"It is part of the strategy," Rosberg said of potential safety cars.

"When you go long [in a stint] you know there is a small chance of being able to benefit from those scenarios, as well as being able to give it a run at the end of the race.

"It is part of the game. It came at the right moment for me, for sure."

RED BULLS COULD SHAPE TITLE FIGHT

Red Bull again took the fight to Mercedes over the course of the Austin weekend.

Although Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in qualifying, Ricciardo passed Rosberg at Turn 2 on the opening lap and held his own until being compromised by the VSC.

Wolff expects Ricciardo and Verstappen to stay in the mix as his drivers fight for the world championship.

"We expected them to be a bit closer in qualifying and the race than it actually was, because on Friday they were very strong," said Wolff.

"They are doing a good job, they have closed up to us, and [engine supplier] Renault is also doing a good job in catching up.

"The rules on the chassis haven't really changed over the last three years, so it's going to be more difficult for us over the last three races."

shares
comments
US Grand Prix driver ratings

Previous article

US Grand Prix driver ratings

Next article

F1 2017: Gasly surprised to miss Toro Rosso seat, exploring options

F1 2017: Gasly surprised to miss Toro Rosso seat, exploring options
Load comments
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021