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Mercedes suspects Hamilton's floor damage was caused by kerbs

  • Published on 21 Mar 2019 14:34
  • comments 7
  • By: Harry Mattocks

Mercedes believe that the floor damage that hindered the performance of Lewis Hamilton in the race in Melbourne was caused by the Brit running over the curbs around Albert Park.

A combination of this damage to Hamilton's car and a perfect race from Valtteri Bottas meant that the five-time champion finished 20 seconds behind his Finnish teammate, and also meant that Hamilton was under pressure from Max Verstappen for much of the race.

During the team's post-race debrief, its chief strategist James Vowles said that Hamilton had done a "fantastic job" to stay in front of the Dutchman and to finish in second place.

“On inspection of Lewis’ car after the race, we noticed some damage on what we call the tyre seal area,” Vowles explained. 

“We saw the broken carbon just in front of that rear tyre on that floor region. That area is quite sensitive aerodynamically, both for downforce and also for balance of the car, and we believe we sustained it during the race while riding over some kerbs. 

“Lewis already had a very long stint on that Medium tyre after covering off the threat from [Sebastian] Vettel’s undercut, so he was already having to manage those tyres quite significantly, hindering his progress through the race. 

“Furthermore, that floor damage wouldn’t have helped. It would have caused the rear to be more unstable that it normally would be, and he did a fantastic job bringing that car to the end of the race.”

Vowles also commended Bottas' performance, as he stormed to his first race win since the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"Valtteri was on it all weekend," said Vowles. "You would've seen in qualifying he was there in contention for pole position and it was Lewis' fantastic last lap that really put him ahead.

"Come the race, again his start was perfect, he was able to take the lead of the race and from then, he just lap after lap just pulled a small margin relative to the others behind."

Replies (7)

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  • RogerF1

    Posts: 443

    Let’s correct the headline
    “Mercedes suspects Hamilton's floor damage was caused (probably) by Hamilton driving over the kerbs”

    • + 3
    • Mar 21 2019 - 20:10
    • JCF1

      Posts: 27

      It's funny because it's true.

      • + 0
      • Mar 21 2019 - 22:37
    • I was looking at the photos of the barge boards and it looks kind of suspicious to me. The was either some doctoring of the photos or they are just going with that story to appease the Hamster.

      • + 0
      • Mar 22 2019 - 06:06
  • reg

    Posts: 162

    So Hamilton seriously damages his own car by bashing it into kerbs, yet he then gets all upset and emotional because he cannot match Bottas - whose fault was this?? Mwrcedes or Hamilton?
    Bottas drove a better race/quali etc, didn't damage his car on the kerbs and won, so why haven't we got a headline along the he lines of " Bottas wins as Hamilton cannot keep car on track"

    • + 1
    • Mar 22 2019 - 07:51
    • In this case, Bottas driving the legal car without variable ride height controls is what won him the race instead of Hamilton. Usually it's supposed to go the other way around, I'm sure. ;-)
      (I have no proof or basis for the above implied assumptions. Except it's been rumoured to have been done before by other, mostly winning, teams)

      • + 1
      • Mar 22 2019 - 11:38
    • Water! Bring water! We have a serious burn here!

      • + 0
      • Mar 22 2019 - 17:05
  • xoya

    Posts: 537

    I looked at the photos they provided and if a small ammount of damage like that, caused Hamilton (HAMILTON!!!) to be that much slower than Bottas (BOTTAS!!!), then screw it! Downforce can kiss my ass.

    • + 0
    • Mar 22 2019 - 08:22

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

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