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2018 F1

Software issue cost Hamilton victory at Australian GP

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Software issue with virtual safety car (VSC) data which cost Lewis Hamilton victory in the round one – Australian Grand Prix revealed by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Following 25 laps of the Australian Grand Prix, pole sitter Hamilton and Mercedes were cruising. Six seconds ahead of nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen with his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel leading the race but yet to pit, it seemed as if the world champions were destined for an easy victory.

Here is Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff – “It’s very hard to take because we had the pace. For whatever reason, we need to find out, we lost the win.

“We thought we had about three seconds margin. I don’t know what happened to them, we need to ask the computers and that’s what we are doing at the moment. Whether we had a software problem somewhere, we need to fix it.

“I think the problem is within our systems. I think we have a bug somewhere that said 15 seconds is what you need, we had 12, it should have been enough but it wasn’t.

“He was attacking flat out but you can see the overtaking is pretty bad here. Even the mega overtakers couldn’t make a pass. Lewis had to give up because the tyres wouldn’t have made it to the end.” Wolff added.

“I think we have a software issue with the VSC data, a situation that we haven’t had yet with a special constellation of cars on track, one going in high speeds and one in slow speeds. The gap that we needed was wrongly calculated by the systems.

“I think the way the algorithm is set up, the way the computer is being programmed, we always had the green light and the gap was enough for us to stay ahead. And then we saw the TV pictures and it wasn’t enough.”

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