Formula 1 – British Grand Prix – How Mercedes squandered Hamilton’s front row chance
It’s a hiccup that Mercedes would have done well without. Suffering with its badly born W13, the German team had so far not had to deplore any major failure. After seven years of unchallenged reign, she lacks performance this season but she remains the only one on the grid, after nine races, to have posted no retirements. Her operational standards also remained at their best until that rainy Saturday in July, when she jeopardized Lewis Hamilton’s best chance for his first pole position of the season.
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As the wet track was obviously getting faster and faster for all teams, and each driver was pushing hard to complete his fastest lap under the checkered flag, the Brackley team simply asked their seven-time world champion to stop his effort in his penultimate scheduled lap, which had the consequence of reducing the potential of his Silver Arrow in the final attempt.
“I will try to do something special”
“The team have worked incredibly hard to bring updates to the car and we have a bunch of new aero parts and it has improved.began by telling the Englishman, eight-time winner of his national Grand Prix. But we still have some rebounds in the high speed corners, and that’s where, in particular Red Bull, stands out from us. »
« In the rain, we were fighting for the front rowhe continued. We were with the best until this penultimate lap. We slowed down to charge the battery and switch to a faster mode for the last lap, but that was just when the rain started to fall harder and it cost us. I was so hopeful, because we have this amazing crowd and we were in the fight, I felt good. »
« We have a great race car and fifth place is not the worst place to start.he tempered. In previous races I would have been happy with fifth place, but this is the British Grand Prix, hopefully more. I will try to do something special for Sunday. I really appreciate the support here – the fans were amazing. »
Faster W13s in the race?
“We are disappointed with the final positions because we were closer to the lead in Q1 and Q2, but we did not make the laps when the conditions were the best, regretted Andrew Shovlin, the chief engineer. We slowed our cars on the penultimate lap thinking we were going to attack at the end but the rain picked up a bit and we just didn’t have the pace. »
The W13s are therefore competitive on both wet and dry tracks, as the technician pointed out. « We have made some changes since Friday night and the drivers were much happier with the car’s high speed performance in Free Practice 3. Our long run was okay on Friday, but it was in the high speed corners that we were losing time, so hopefully the improvements with the light tank will carry over to the conditions with full fuel. »
But these are not the only pitfalls encountered by the gray single-seaters and Toto Wolff insisted on the potential contained in his cars. « Not everything went well in Q3recognized the Austrian team principal.George locked up on his penultimate lap and Lewis struggled with a brake temperature gap and lost tire temperature. It is therefore disappointing to be P5 and P8, and not to have extracted the full potential of the car. We had a great stint on Friday and we’ve improved the car since Friday. It’s the race pace that matters here and I can’t wait to see what happens. »
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