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Mercedes explains Hamilton's VSC confusion

NEWS STORY
02/05/2019

Speaking in the wake of Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton admitted that while the race was effectively lost in qualifying, what he regarded as his own mistake at the end of the VSC period ultimately cost him any chance of a late assault on teammate Valtteri Bottas for the race win.

"I lost two-and-a-half seconds, or whatever it is, under the VSC," he told reporters, “so I had to regain that and, with only nine laps to go, that was not so easy. So, that was my fault and something I'll work on.

"There's somethings I can fix on the dash to make sure that doesn't happen again," he added. "But, nonetheless, it was a great result for the team."

When the VSC was deployed following Pierre Gasly's retirement, Hamilton was around 2s down on his teammate, but when the VSC was withdrawn the gap had extended to over 4s.

In Mercedes latest Pure Pitwall video, strategist James Vowles explains what happened and how the team intends to make changes to Hamilton's dashboard display in a bid to prevent it happening again.

We asked Lewis to do a number of switch changes, which is normal, to put the car into a more ‘performant' mode," explains Vowles. "But with every change, he lost sight of what the delta time was.

"The other factor that was contributing here was that if you are in a straight line, for example, turn 16, long straight, and the VSC ends, all you have to do is get on the throttle and go straight," he continued. "But Lewis wasn't, he was in a braking zone for a VSC, one of the most difficult situations because it's very difficult to modulate where you are on the delta time and get ready for the VSC restart.

"A combination of all of that put together means that Lewis didn't make a mistake. It's where he was on track and a number of switch changes that just masked where he was in exact delta time and he lost around two seconds.

"We, from our side, can certainly do more work to make that better in terms of a dash display in Barcelona, and we will do," he confirmed. "The luck of the draw as to where you are under the VSC, unfortunately, will always be the same."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 04/05/2019 0:36

"It's my understanding that when there is a Safety Car out, leading the cars around the circuit, rather than losing seconds on the car in front, each driver gains because the whole field "stacks up" and trys to keep their tires warm. Why a VSC doesn't simply follow the same pattern is some goofy tech-inspired effort to prevent said stacking. But instead of keeping the racing interesting, indeed enhancing it by stacking up the cars, the VSC only adds to the boredom that is building in the closing laps of most races. Oh well, racing is hardly what FOM is promoting, isn't it."

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2. Posted by Greg, 02/05/2019 14:23

"Just get back to a simple steering wheel with less information. Let the driver work it out himself instead of 50 gurus on the wall and baxk of pits/head office"

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3. Posted by Cobra Racer, 02/05/2019 13:00

"Good Lord. Does anyone else think that this kind of demand on the driver is idiotic? The emphasis should be on the driver and car. Not how sexy the data feeds can be.
"

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4. Posted by equator180, 02/05/2019 1:12

"Nice point of interest: Mercedes now confirm unless they have a fickle finger of fate hit them, they will have pole position and that position will more than likely win. Also, nothing is Hamiltons fault. Blame as you may, good or bad but nothing is ever Hamilton's fault, even if for the press he says it is, Toto, says the falt is never on his shoulders."

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