Kerb damage cost Hamilton around 30 points in downforce

Toto Wolff has revealed that the damage sustained to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula 1 car cost around 30 points in downforce, causing his fall to fourth place.

Hamilton had moved up to second place in the opening stint of the race after starting fourth on the grid, running clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris after pitting for the hard tyre.

But shortly into the second stint, Mercedes informed Hamilton that he had picked up some damage to the left-rear of his car that was costing him downforce. It caused Hamilton’s lap times to drop and allow both Bottas and Norris to close up. Bottas was waved by Hamilton, with Norris then passing for third place one lap later.

A second stop included a balance change on Hamilton’s car, but he could not bridge the gap to Norris, finishing 26 seconds behind in fourth place.

Speaking after the race in Austria, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff revealed that the initial suspicions were that it had cost around 30 points of downforce, marking a big loss in performance.

“We have calculated that we lost about 30 points, but that isn’t a number that is not checked yet,” Wolff explained. “But there was quite a loss in performance, and that meant he was pushing the tyres in a direction that wouldn’t have made it to the end probably.

“So we wanted to evaluate what his performance really was after the damage, and whether it was possible that Valtteri could have protected against Lando, but that wasn’t possible.

“He was also fair towards Valtteri to do his own race, and this is when we decided to switch, obviously understanding that we would lose P3 to McLaren.”

Asked how much lap time that loss of downforce was equivalent to, Wolff felt it was “very difficult to say”.

“It’s just a first guess on what we see on the sensors,” Wolff said. “That also, you can’t really translate that onto lap time.”

Hamilton said after the race that he was unsure where he picked up the damage, but Mercedes believed it was at the final corner where drivers regularly used the exit kerb.

“I think it was around lap 30, out of Turn 10, where there’s a pretty aggressive kerb,” Wolff said.

“We didn’t see that was a driving mistake. It was pretty much the load that accrued, and we need to analyse why that was.”

Read Also:

The drop to fourth cost Hamilton yet more ground in the F1 title race to Max Verstappen, who extended his drivers’ championship lead to 32 points with a third straight victory.

“Of course, losing every point is a blow, and he lost, what was it, six points compared to finishing second,” Wolff said. “Adding that all up is obviously making the whole momentum going in the wrong direction.

“But this is so far from over. He’s 32 points behind Max. That’s a DNF away. And he’s in the hunt again.

“If we look at Baku and the potential, and we look at the other races, overall, we just need to up our game, make less mistakes, and continue to understand the car better.

“Then we’re still massively in the hunt.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mazepin, Latifi and Raikkonen penalised after Austrian GP

Previous article

Mazepin, Latifi and Raikkonen penalised after Austrian GP

Next article

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Austria F1

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Austria F1
Load comments
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

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.

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

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 Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 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
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021