Mercedes: No safety concerns over Hamilton’s steering wheel

The Mercedes Formula 1 team had no safety concerns over Lewis Hamilton’s steering wheel in the Eifel GP, despite the eventual winner mentioning it before the race.

On the laps to the grid, Hamilton asked if an issue with movement of the steering wheel he had detected on Saturday had been addressed overnight.

He was told by engineer Peter Bonnington that the team had put in a request to the FIA to change it, but was denied permission. Teams can change parts on a like-for-like basis in parc ferme under FIA supervision, if they can demonstrate that they are damaged.

Mercedes strategy director James Vowles stressed that the request reflected one of Hamilton’s feel for the car rather than any worries that there might be a failure in the race.

“You may have heard Lewis complaining about movement within the steering wheel,” Vowles said in a Mercedes video. “He had play within the steering column and the whole steering system was moving backwards and forwards just a small amount.

“This is a performance factor, as you are cornering you are trying to feel the limit of tyres, having any movement in the steering column whatsoever will cause you to not be sure whether it’s the car moving, the tyres moving or something else.

“However, it wasn’t a safety concern, at no time did we have any concern whatsoever for the system.

“It’s something we noticed on Saturday but the parc ferme regulations state that unless the component is broken you can’t replace it, which is why Lewis had to race with it, and he did a great job considering the amount of difficult conditions we had in that race.”

Read Also:

Vowles also gave more detail on the power unit issue that led to the retirement of Valtteri Bottas, and which the team believes was related to electronics.

“At the end of the VSC period Valtteri complained of a lack of power," Vowles said. "We could see on the data that the MGU-H, the hybrid element of the car that produces electrical energy, but also turbo control, wasn’t working correctly.

“We tried a few switch changes with Valtteri which may bring these systems back, so through the steering wheel he could put a default code in that may bring back parts of the hybrid system.

“It was clear though that it had failed completely even after the switch changes and as a result we boxed the car and stopped it.”

The team hopes that the early retirement saved the power unit from further damage and thus future grid penalties.

“The reason why we did that is we felt that the system failure wasn’t hardware but actually electronic, and the sooner you stop it the less damage you are going to do to any of the systems and the more chance that we will take no penalties with Valtteri as a result.

“We’ve got a lot of checks to do and we will check the systems in Portimao but hopefully no further penalties will come as a result of this failure.”

shares
comments

Related video

Abiteboul: Top bosses could discuss Red Bull/Renault deal
Previous article

Abiteboul: Top bosses could discuss Red Bull/Renault deal

Next article

Carey warns against F1 history being "straightjacket" for change

Carey warns against F1 history being "straightjacket" for change
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022