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
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021