Radio rule stopped Mercedes from easing Hamilton's stall concerns

The Mercedes Formula 1 team was unable to calm Lewis Hamilton’s pre-race fears about his engine stalling in Hungary due to the same radio traffic restrictions that led to Haas drivers being penalised, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has revealed.

Radio rule stopped Mercedes from easing Hamilton's stall concerns

When Hamilton completed his formation lap and arrived on pole position he told the team “the engine keeps sounding like it’s going to stall.”

The pit wall knew that he wouldn’t have an issue, and thus could just concentrate on the start. However the restrictions on “coaching” on the formation lap meant that they couldn’t tell him.

The same rule, based on a 2017 technical directive relating to drivers driving the car alone and unaided, led to both Haas drivers receiving 10-second penalties, because their engineers told them to pit for dry tyres on the formation lap.

It also prevented AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat – who wanted to pit for slicks – from being able to discuss the strategy with his team.

Read Also:

“Lewis reported a problem on the formation lap where he said he thought the engine was going to stall,” Shovlin said in a Mercedes video.

“What it actually was was a sensor issue that was only affecting the engine around the idle control, so when he was sat there, waiting to go off on the formation lap.

“Now It wasn't a problem, it wasn't going to stall and there is a protection that will actually stop the engine from stalling anyway, if you were in that situation, but we couldn't tell him it was okay.

“And that's because of the rules that prevent you talking to the driver during that entire formation lap. So we knew it was fine, but he had to sort of worry a bit until he got off the line.”

Bottas start issue explained

Although Hamilton was potentially distracted by the problem, it was teammate Valtteri Bottas who got away badly after edging forward before the lights went out.

The Finn said he was caught out by a light on his dash, and Shovlin explained that was a consequence of how race starts are practised.

“His issue was actually that he reacted to one of the lights on his dash that flickered,” said Shovlin. “And that's because he practises starts using his steering wheel over the weekends.

“And to simulate the lights going out for the start grid, the lights on the dash on the steering wheel go out. And that was why he sort of reacted to it, it distracted him.

“Luckily, he was able to pull the clutch and avoid a jumped start. Now there's an automatic system that will detect where the car is and when it's left the grid box, and the car can sit within a reasonably wide position on that grid box without detecting it.

“And because Valtteri hadn't moved far, he was still within range. So the system didn't think it was a jumped start because he was still within his box when the lights actually went out.

“What it did do though was cost him an awful lot of places, because resetting and getting ready to go meant that everyone else was off and around him by the time he was getting up to speed.”

shares
comments
How Haas' common sense faltered to F1’s letter of the law
Previous article

How Haas' common sense faltered to F1’s letter of the law

Next article

Spanish Grand Prix unaffected by new coronavirus restrictions

Spanish Grand Prix unaffected by new coronavirus restrictions
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022