Lewis Hamilton made two test starts in a wrong position last Sunday and received a ten-second time penalty. Mercedes knew when they saw the trial starts that they were going to have problems. Mercedes also thinks that the other teams had informed the FIA.
Mercedes was looking for a piece of asphalt, which in terms of grip level was the same as the asphalt on the start-finish section. “On some circuits you have one place where you can do the test starts and on some circuits you can do it in a specific area,” Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ chief race engineer, said in the F1 Nation Podcast.
Also read: Hamilton cooks on board radio after time penalty: ‘Everything to slow me down’
“If there is too much rubber, it is no longer representative of the ‘real’ start. We wanted to find a piece of asphalt which corresponded in terms of grip with the amount of grip on the start-finish. That’s what the drivers and engineers always want, ”said Shovlin. So Mercedes asked Hamilton if he could drive a bit further to do a test start elsewhere.
Mercedes hadn’t seen Hamilton’s first test start, but when they saw the second test start, they knew they might be in trouble. “We immediately thought: they are not going to like that. We don’t think it was dangerous. But when we saw where the car was, we immediately thought they wouldn’t like it. I think the other teams had informed the FIA, ”said the Briton.
Also read: Masi: ‘Penalties for Hamilton were inappropriate’
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