Connect with us

2018 F1

Mercedes Blames Computer Bug for Hamilton Glitch at Melbourne

Published

on

Mercedes blamed a computer bug from an offline software tool for the timing error which cost Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton a chance to win the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton looked to be in total control after starting strongly from pole position at Sunday’s season-opening race, but the four-time F1 champion suddenly found himself behind Sebastian Vettel after coming out of the pit lane.

The confusing incident occurred after a Virtual Safety Car was deployed as marshals removed Romain Grosjean’s stricken Haas car from the track.

When the VSC is used, cars stay on track but slow down to a required non-race pace. There then is a short distance between the designated line of the safety car and the entrance to the pit lane when cars can briefly speed up as they prepare to pit, which is what Vettel did.

Timing proved crucial as Mercedes misjudged the gap to Vettel, enabling the Ferrari driver to pull ahead and win the race. Hamilton finished second.

Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained on the Mercedes website how the team misjudged the time gap — known as a delta lap — between Hamilton staying on track at a slower VRC speed and Vettel pitting.

“The issue isn’t actually with the race strategy software that we use. It was an offline tool that we create these delta lap times with, and we found a bug in that tool that meant that it gave us the wrong number,” Shovlin said. “Now the number that we were calculating was around 15 seconds, and in reality the number was slightly short of 13 seconds, so that was what created our delta. That is why we thought we were safe. We thought we had a bit of margin.”

Vettel came out just ahead of a confused Hamilton, who got on the radio to ask his team what had just happened.

“Why did you not tell me Vettel was in the pits?” Hamilton asked.

“We thought we were safe, but there’s obviously something wrong,” his team responded.

The nature of the Albert Park track, which is notoriously hard to overtake on, reduced Hamilton’s chances of catching Vettel. It was an astute move from Ferrari, but a rare lapse from a supremely efficient Mercedes team which has won the past four drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

“We thought that Sebastian was going to come out behind us, we weren’t telling Lewis to push any harder,” Shovlin said. “We were lulled into this false sense of security and we didn’t have Lewis driving as fast as we could.”

Mercedes said a similar mistake won’t be made in the future, starting with the Bahrain GP on April 8.

“We look at everything that went wrong,” Shovlin said, “work out how to solve it and then put the processes in place to make sure we don’t have a repeat.” (Source: AP)

Loading...

Comments

Latest F1 News

Latest F1 News

2019 F12 weeks ago

I’m not ready for Formula E – Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg says he is “not ready” to contemplate a switch to Formula E. It is strongly rumoured that if...

2019 F12 weeks ago

BREAKING: Albon to replace Gasly from Belgian GP

Toro Rosso’s speedy Alexander Albon will replace Pierre Gasly at Red Bull from the next race in Belgium, the F1...

2019 F12 weeks ago

Alonso says it is not true liking Vettel

Fernando Alonso says it is not true that he doesn’t like Sebastian Vettel. In Hungary, amid rumours the retired double...

2019 F12 weeks ago

F1 teams balk at expensive new regulations

F1 teams are pushing back on proposed new regulations — for reasons of cost. One idea that could be scrapped...

2019 F13 weeks ago

McLaren targets Sainz to beat Gasly in 2019

McLaren is targeting a coveted sixth place in the 2019 drivers’ world championship with Carlos Sainz. With Mercedes, Ferrari and...

2019 F13 weeks ago

F1 broadcaster fails to show Sainz in Hungary

Carlos Sainz was “the invisible man” during the recent Hungarian GP. In fact, well-known Spanish journalist Antonio Lobato claims that...

2019 F13 weeks ago

Marko confirms Verstappen staying at Red Bull-Honda for F1 2020

Red Bull motorsport head Dr Helmut Marko has confirmed that Max Verstappen is definitely staying at Red Bull-Honda in 2020....

2019 F13 weeks ago

Me and Russel are eating two different dishes – Kubica

Robert Kubica is yet to benefit from what seems to have been a clear step forward for Williams and George...

2019 F13 weeks ago

I will not stop doing dangerous activities – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen says he will not stop doing dangerous activities just because he is in Formula 1. Well known for...

2019 F13 weeks ago

Two competitive cars ‘essential’ to Red Bull success – Horner

  Christian Horner says it is “essential” that Red Bull has two cars near the front of the F1 field....

Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media