Mercedes expected just a "telling off" over Hamilton incident

Mercedes Formula 1 track engineering director Andrew Shovlin says the team expected only a 'telling off' from the FIA following Lewis Hamilton's practice starts in the Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes expected just a "telling off" over Hamilton incident

Hamilton asked the team as he drove out of the pitlane if he could conduct his starts beyond the usual area, which was covered in rubber after two days of action.

His engineer Peter Bonnington said he could, but with no TV coverage of his exit from the pitlane, the team did not spot how far beyond the usual area he had travelled.

After running through the pits, Hamilton conducted a second start in the same place, and this time it was seen on TV and flagged for investigation by the FIA.

Hamilton subsequently received two five-second penalties which badly compromised his race and left him in third place at the flag.

The FIA deemed that he had gained a sporting advantage, and Shovlin acknowledged that Hamilton had been looking for a more representative piece of track on which to make his start.

"In some places there's a box that they paint on the floor, and you've got to do it in the box," said Shovlin.

"Then other places, it's kind of a general area. And often, if there's a lot of rubber, that's not going to be representative of the grid.

"The drivers and also the engineers will want to find a bit that's closer in terms of the grip to expect on the grid. And all it was was Lewis asked if he could go a bit further.

"We hadn't realised quite how far he was going to go. But it's really just trying to find a bit of tarmac that's more like the one that you're going to get when you do the proper race start."

Read Also:

Shovlin admitted that the team suspected that there would be an issue after seeing the location of the second start.

"We didn't see the first one," he said. "And when we saw the second one, we thought, 'They're not going to like that.'

"But we didn't think it was dangerous. And given the event notes said that it was on the right hand side after the pit exit we thought it might have been ambiguous enough that we would have just got a telling off.

"When we saw the car position, it wasn't a complete surprise that they didn't like it. And no doubt there may have been teams who flagged it as much as whether the FIA or the stewards spotted it themselves."

shares
comments

Related video

The Sochi tech tweaks amid the midfield arms race

Previous article

The Sochi tech tweaks amid the midfield arms race

Next article

Russell regrets not "fannying around" on first Sochi lap

Russell regrets not "fannying around" on first Sochi lap
Load comments
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
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021