Damaged Hamilton engine "looks normal" - Mercedes

Mercedes’ initial analysis of Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 engine after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice is that it “all looks normal” after the damage sustained during the previous race.

Damaged Hamilton engine "looks normal" - Mercedes

A problem in the variable inlet system of Hamilton’s engine caused unstable combustion during the Brazilian GP, although the team acted mid-race to prevent an “imminent” engine failure.

The engine was still damaged though and Mercedes made some changes, outside the parameters restricted by the FIA regulations, ahead of Friday practice in a bid to prevent the need to use either old components or penalty-inducing new ones in the season finale.

Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin said: “We ran through a number of checks on Lewis's power unit and so far it all looks normal, which is good news.

“You always struggle a bit more with overheating in FP1 but other than that, the car seemed to be working OK.”

Valtteri Bottas set the pace in Friday practice for Mercedes, heading the FP2 times by 0.044s from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Hamilton was two tenths slower than Bottas in fourth.

Shovlin said Mercedes’ run plan on Friday included 2019 experiments in FP1 and then long run work in FP2, which gave the team a “decent platform to work with”.

“We had a lot of 2019 test and development items on both cars in FP1 so that was a very busy session although we were still able to do a reasonable amount of the normal race preparation,” said Shovlin.

“In FP2 we had a more normal programme, the car seemed a bit more competitive, especially on a long run.”

Bottas is seeking victory this weekend to avoid ending the year without a win.

He controlled last year’s race from pole position and said he felt like he could “trust” the car in practice on Friday and “drive it the way I want”.

“I'm glad we got the car to work well in the evening session as it is very difficult to try out set-up changes in FP3 because it is so hot,” he said.

“We definitely learned a lot from the runs we did today, especially in the evening, and there are plenty of things we can adjust overnight to find a good set-up for qualifying and the race.

“It's nice to be on top of the timesheets, but we now need to build on that, we need to try and make the right set-up changes and I also need to find more performance from myself.

“My goal for the weekend is to repeat last year's result, but there's still plenty of work to do.”

Hamilton has received a reprimand for crossing the white lining separating the pit entry and the track during FP1.

It is his second of the season and means a third reprimand for a driving offence in FP3 or qualifying will mean he will get a 10-place grid penalty for the season finale.

shares
comments
Mercedes willing to risk wheel protest in Abu Dhabi
Previous article

Mercedes willing to risk wheel protest in Abu Dhabi

Next article

Sirotkin surprised by timing of "worst run" in 2018

Sirotkin surprised by timing of "worst run" in 2018
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021