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)

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F11 month ago

Lauda announces 2019 grand prix return

Niki Lauda has allayed fears that he might not return to his post at the grands prix with Mercedes. In...

2018 F11 month ago

Sauber still building staff numbers – Vasseur

Sauber is still building up its staff numbers, boss Frederic Vasseur has revealed. The Swiss team almost collapsed two years...

2018 F11 month ago

Red Bull ‘will look to Verstappen’ in 2019 – Horner

Max Verstappen will have a more significant role at Red Bull next year. That is the view of Christian Horner,...

2018 F11 month ago

London could join Silverstone in F1 – Brawn

Ross Brawn says a grand prix in the centre of London would be “unacceptable”. But the F1 sporting chief thinks...

2018 F11 month ago

Kubica not offended by Vettel comments

Robert Kubica says he is not offended by comments made by quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari’s Vettel said that...

2018 F11 month ago

Verstappen happy with Ricciardo replacement

Max Verstappen says he is happy with Red Bull’s pick for his new teammate. The Dutchman says he cannot understand...

2018 F11 month ago

Renault to keep working over Christmas

Staff at Renault’s works F1 team will work throughout the Christmas and New Year period. That is the news from...

2018 F11 month ago

Force India to launch 2019 car in Canada

Force India has become the second F1 team to announce a reveal date for its 2019 car. Ferrari boss Maurizio...

2018 F11 month ago

“it was a difficult experience, but it made me stronger,”- Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin says his aim is to return to formula one in 2020. The Russian has been replaced at Williams...

2018 F11 month ago

McLaren success is ‘long term’ aim – Sainz

Carlos Sainz says McLaren is aiming for success only in the medium to long term. The Spaniard says he is...




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