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Front wing flap failure caused Hamilton's wing change

  • Published on 30 Jun 2019 18:15
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes has confirmed that a collapse of Lewis Hamilton's left flap on the front wing forced the team to change the component on the Briton's W10. 

Hamilton lost vital seconds in his pit stop, which saw him rejoin the circuit in fifth place, where he would eventually finish the race after Sebastian Vettel overtook him following a late-race pit stop.

Team boss Toto Wolff confirmed after the race that the "left flap collapsed like we saw in free practice".

Mercedes endured a difficult Grand Prix, as Wolff revealed that the cars were lifting 400 meters before the corner as it was struggling to sufficiently cool its systems.

"We knew that it [cooling] was our Achilles heel, and we've been carrying this problem since the beginning of the season. It was really painful to watch, cruising, not being able to defend or attack," Wolff said.

"When you look at the positives, we were running the engine way turned down, lifting and coasting for up to 400 metres, that's almost no throttle rolling downwards, and still able to put in decent lap times."

Wolff added that Mercedes was "right on the limit" with its cooling methods of opening up the bodywork, insisting that any more would have had an impact on aerodynamic performance. 

"We couldn't do any more. It was already very damaging for performance, with what we did, there was no step more.

"I would've hoped for a better result, when you are running second and third after the start with max's mishap. That would've been my best case scenario, so coming second and fifth is a bit worse."

Replies (7)

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  • How about we penalize at least one Merc' every other race from now on, shall we? If it leads to races like these, I'm all for that prospect. On a more serious note: this is why I'm leaning more and more towards BoP being a necessity in F1 if the cost caps don't balance the grid. See how good of a race we got when the vastly dominant team was forced into the mix.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 18:48
    • More artificial racing? We might as well have reverse grids, like that's not a joke. It was interesting to see Hammy whinging about his front wing and not being able to see any damage. On some of the closeups it looked like even though there was no visible damage, the wing was staying flat instead up opening up like it's supposed to do.

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 18:56
    • I'd not necessarily call it any more artificial than some of the changes we've already gotten. The lead teams will still be good, they will just get balanced down a bit. It'll basically be the same, only that teams that are utterly superior will have another hoop to jump through, thus closing up the field a bit. It is a more direct path compared to widening the rear wing, reducing dirty air or other things they've tried to implement, or suggestions like refuelling. Ideally I'd like it to close up on itself, but knowing F1, that isn't likely to happen.

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 19:08
  • f1ski

    Posts: 672

    I don’t disagree with the bop. Perhaps by giving the fastest teams less fuel . Weight is not as good. Perhaps limit battery stores. I still think forcing teams to multiple stops forcing the winning teams to use all 3 compounds and midfield teams can use any compounds. I still think refueling would help.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 20:53
  • f1ski

    Posts: 672

    I wonder if the Alfa fuel at 20 degrees below ambient was a shot across MB bow about a technical loophole MB was using to allow them to run at the cooling limit? Perhaps MB has been cooling the fuel charge with a small refrigerant coil? I mean the Alfa foul was so stupid it makes me believe it was deliberate to bring attention to what someone else is doing

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 20:59
    • Unlikely. They have to go through pretty hefty inspections on the designs by the FIA. A physical design differs from what Merc' and Ferrari did with oil burning, since that was down to blends and how the ECU supplied the engine with the mixes. Cooling coils or loops would be disqualified in an instant, even if Merc' would be the one doing it. It could however be a more devious thing, like having an engine cooler or such conveniently being very close to a fuel pipe or the fuel tank. I think the FIA would find that suspect too, but the prospect is interesting.

      • + 0
      • Jul 1 2019 - 19:27
  • Why has Hamilton always some stupid excuse if he performs badly?? Before he ‘damaged’ his front wing, his pace was also lousy and what caused the damage?? Probably a fault of his own driving, probably in turn 1. But that is never mentioned.

    • + 0
    • Jul 1 2019 - 23:41

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