Kerb damage cost Hamilton around 30 points in downforce

Toto Wolff has revealed that the damage sustained to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula 1 car cost around 30 points in downforce, causing his fall to fourth place.

Hamilton had moved up to second place in the opening stint of the race after starting fourth on the grid, running clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris after pitting for the hard tyre.

But shortly into the second stint, Mercedes informed Hamilton that he had picked up some damage to the left-rear of his car that was costing him downforce. It caused Hamilton’s lap times to drop and allow both Bottas and Norris to close up. Bottas was waved by Hamilton, with Norris then passing for third place one lap later.

A second stop included a balance change on Hamilton’s car, but he could not bridge the gap to Norris, finishing 26 seconds behind in fourth place.

Speaking after the race in Austria, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff revealed that the initial suspicions were that it had cost around 30 points of downforce, marking a big loss in performance.

“We have calculated that we lost about 30 points, but that isn’t a number that is not checked yet,” Wolff explained. “But there was quite a loss in performance, and that meant he was pushing the tyres in a direction that wouldn’t have made it to the end probably.

“So we wanted to evaluate what his performance really was after the damage, and whether it was possible that Valtteri could have protected against Lando, but that wasn’t possible.

“He was also fair towards Valtteri to do his own race, and this is when we decided to switch, obviously understanding that we would lose P3 to McLaren.”

Asked how much lap time that loss of downforce was equivalent to, Wolff felt it was “very difficult to say”.

“It’s just a first guess on what we see on the sensors,” Wolff said. “That also, you can’t really translate that onto lap time.”

Hamilton said after the race that he was unsure where he picked up the damage, but Mercedes believed it was at the final corner where drivers regularly used the exit kerb.

“I think it was around lap 30, out of Turn 10, where there’s a pretty aggressive kerb,” Wolff said.

“We didn’t see that was a driving mistake. It was pretty much the load that accrued, and we need to analyse why that was.”

Read Also:

The drop to fourth cost Hamilton yet more ground in the F1 title race to Max Verstappen, who extended his drivers’ championship lead to 32 points with a third straight victory.

“Of course, losing every point is a blow, and he lost, what was it, six points compared to finishing second,” Wolff said. “Adding that all up is obviously making the whole momentum going in the wrong direction.

“But this is so far from over. He’s 32 points behind Max. That’s a DNF away. And he’s in the hunt again.

“If we look at Baku and the potential, and we look at the other races, overall, we just need to up our game, make less mistakes, and continue to understand the car better.

“Then we’re still massively in the hunt.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mazepin, Latifi and Raikkonen penalised after Austrian GP
Previous article

Mazepin, Latifi and Raikkonen penalised after Austrian GP

Next article

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Austria F1

Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Austria F1
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver 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...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
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