Lewis Hamilton was told during the Australian Grand Prix not to push too much because the temperatures in his engine were soaring. James Bowles, Mercedes’ chief strategy officer, now explains how this could happen.
The Mercedes Formula 1 team did another great job in Melbourne damage control to lead. With a podium place for George Russell and fourth for Hamilton, the German team limited the damage compared to the competition. In fact, he scored more points than rival Red Bull Racing, which saw Max Verstappen out of second place. However, there might have been more if Hamilton could have started the entire race. Then perhaps he and Russell put more pressure on Sergio Perez. Hamilton had to grapple, though, because his engine got way too hot.
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Hamilton’s engine overheated in Melbourne
Via the onboard radio, he told his engineer Hamilton that he had to drive slower, because signals were coming from the crater wall that the temperature in the power supply was too high. From now on, Hamilton can no longer drive at full strength. But how could this happen? And why didn’t the problem happen with his teammate Russell? This has to do with the choices made on Saturday for both cars to maximize performance. So said Fowles, Mercedes’ chief strategy officer. The 42-year-old Briton provided a transcript and explanation for this at Race interrogationVideo from Mercedes on YouTube.
Engine cooling is not rated correctly
According to Vowles, Mercedes provided an estimate on Saturday about how much cooling the engines of both cars will need. “He made that decision on Saturday,” the head of strategy said. But on the Sunday of the race it was “maybe two degrees warmer” than expected at Mercedes. As a result, Hamilton’s power supply overheated earlier and had to slow down. “I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating, so I had to go back. I had to stay behind,” said Hamilton.
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