Category Archives: Lewis Hamilton

Formula One: Mercedes Monaco Madness

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The Merecedes AMG Petronas Magazine Show ‘The Silver Arrows’ reflects on the teams Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with an interview from Toto Wolff, Rachael Laenen, team hospitality and events manager, and Lewis Hamilton’s number one mechanic Nathan Divey.

Interestingly we hear Toto speak of his relief to have bought an end to the downward spiral of performance Lewis Hamilton had been suffering and how the team are increasingly seeing Red Bull Racing as the main challenger this season.

Rachael Laenen discusses the challenges of a Monaco weekend in which the team entertain more than 300 guests (including Justin Bieber) across 4 locations in an area with poor phone reception and even worse wifi. It was a surprise to hear the team resort to traditional radio communication over the weekend, surely partners Tata Communications and Qualcomm could have put together a more innovative solution!

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Formula One: Mercedes dispel “Hamilton to miss Monaco” rumours

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Mercedes AMG Petronas have dismissed any speculation that Lewis Hamilton is set to miss this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix commenting on social media:

Rumours have been circulating on social media of additional tension in the team following the Spanish Grand Prix having come to ahead. These rumours appear to be without any merit. Attention should now focus to the racing weekend in prospect.

Formula One: Lewis dismisses ludicrous sabbatical talk

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After setting a dominant pole position around the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya this after noon Lewis Hamilton put to bed any speculation that he was considering a sabbatical bluntly remarking: “A year out? No way. Whoever wrote that was smoking something. Some pretty good stuff.”

British tabloid and elements of the broadsheet media set about the story earlier this ahead of today’s qualifying session. Lewis took the opportunity of the FIA top 3 qualifying press conference to respond to the rumours directly.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team secured their 58th pole position, moving one ahead of the Red Bull Racing team in the all time tally, in dominant style with Lewis setting a 1:22.000 time. Setting the time in his second run in Q3 Lewis’ time was 0.280’s ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg.

Speaking about his pole time and tomorrow’s race in prospect Lewis commented “That felt great today to finally put the lap together, I’m very very happy. You always need to put that performance in, it reassures your belief, and Nico had been so fast this weekend, sometimes two tenths quicker, sometimes more. I could see on my data where I was losing, so I had to try and figure it out on track, and it is so satisfying to attack that obstacle and get through it. I am really grateful to the team for working hard overnight to put the car in the right place for me to fight – and now it’s three poles from three for me when I’ve been able to do the laps in qualifying. I haven’t had a proper race with Nico yet this year so I am hoping that will start tomorrow. It’s very hard to overtake here, so strategy is important, as is looking after the tyres: the forces round this circuit means it just eats the tyres up, so you need to get that balance just right and see it through to the finish”

 

Formula One: Lewis – Mclaren betrayal & the challenges of friendship

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In the second set of clips from the Graham Bensinger In Depth interview, Lewis Hamilton continues to talk openly about his life in Formula One.

Speaking about his decision to move from Mclaren to Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season Lewis explains that the decision to move in a moment of tranquillity. Independently making the decision to make the move despite those around him questioning the decision. Lewis speaks openly about the conversation between Martin Whitmarsh, Ron Dennis and himself around the decision and how the team at the time felt betrayed by his decision.

Lewis has developed a reputation for a being some what of an outsider in the paddock. In this clip Lewis explains the history of his relationship with Nico Rosberg, and how in the current situation it is almost impossible for the two of them to be friends and then expect to compete on the track.

Away from the F1 paddock, Lewis explains his true friendships are found with the likes of Kanye West, Drake, and Jay-Z.

Further clips from this interview can be seen here

Formula One: Lewis ” I didn’t enjoy first championship “

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Lewis Hamilton has spoken candidly about his experiences in Formula One during an interview with Emmy Award Winner Graham Bensinger. Reflecting on his first years in Formula One and first championship Lewis opens up about how his lack of media training and tensions around the sport and Mclaren, his team at the time, impacted his enjoyment of his championship winning year.

Lewis went on to explore his initial concerns around racial barriers when coming to the sport and has overcome these feeling and now sees them as an advantage.

Latterly Lewis discusses the impact losing a race has on him

Lewis goes on to openly discuss the relationship with his father , the challenges they faced and his wanting to have a ‘normal’ relationship with him away from F1 life.

Finally, Lewis talks to Graham about his technical approach to racing, showing him around the Mercedes AMG Petronas W07. Lewis identifies one of his key strengths being in braking distances and how his father pushed him to the beyond the limits of his cars in his career.

You can find more clips from the interview on Graham Bensinger’s You Tube channel here

Formula One: Rosberg’s race at risk?

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With the Mercedes AMG Petronas team unable to clearly determine the root cause of Lewis Hamilton’s power unit failure both in Shanghai and during yesterday’s Sochi qualifying session, the team can not categorically state Nico Rosberg will not suffer a similar fate in today’s race.

It is understood the team have flown in replacement components for Lewis Hamilton’s power unit overnight. Although not confirmed by the team, once fitted it is possible these components may result in further grid penalties for Lewis. It is unlikely any modifications will be made to Nico’s power unit, as any change would likely lead to grid place penalties.

Following the power unit failure Lewis Hamilton suffered in Shanghai, Mercedes published an overview of the assessment process undertaken by the team to understand the route cause of the issue. This assessment can be found here. Observers have questioned how the team, after a trouble free winter testing in which the team were able to complete 19 race distances on a single power unit can now be facing such reliability issues.

The troubles the team are facing are a testament to a team not resting on their laurels, pushing to extract the maximum performance out of the team and power unit.  Such an approach suggests the team see a true credible threat from Ferrari and Red Bull Racing as the season processes.

Upgrades to the Mercedes power unit applied ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, which used two of the teams performance tokens for the season and included the introduction of a new lubricant from Petronas are not thought to have contributed to the power unit issue. The upgrade has been applied to all Mercedes power units on the grid and has been applied without needing to introduce a second power unit in the season.

 

Formula One: Lewis “I’ve never been superstitious”

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Bittersweet afternoon for the Silver Arrows in Sochi

Lewis Hamilton
It’s obviously not a great feeling to be on the sidelines again – but that’s life. I knew there was a problem and that it was probably the same failure that I had in China pretty much straight away. I went out for a second run in Q2 to get a feeler lap and felt the same power loss as last time. When it happened in Shanghai it was something we hadn’t seen before and now unfortunately it’s happened again, so we need to understand it. I’ve never been superstitious about these things, though, and I never will be. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll move on and look ahead to the race. I don’t know where I’m going to start yet – we’ll wait to see how that unfolds. But I never give up and I’ll give it all I’ve got to recover whatever I can in the race, like always. It’s not an easy track for overtaking. With the levels of tyre degradation and it being so tough to follow here, it’s not going to be easy to make my way forward. But there are long straights and we’ve got good pace, so if I can keep the car in one piece I’ll be fighting for decent points I’m sure.

Nico Rosberg
That was a very strong Qualifying session for me behind the wheel today. I found a great rhythm in Q2, then just turned the front wing down a bit for Q3 and the balance was then absolutely perfect. This is a really rare feeling to have out there in the car, so thank you to the guys for making that happen. I was able to really nail the first lap in Q3 and was quite confident that it was quick enough, so I gave it everything and more on the second lap and had a huge lock up, which is why I abandoned that attempt. I’m happy to have another pole – but tomorrow is a long race and a lot can happen. Even if we are looking strong pace-wise, I can never write off my opponents, that’s for sure. They’ve had some bad luck once again this weekend – Sebastian with his gearbox issue and Lewis with his engine again. But we’ve seen in previous races that they are able recover quickly and get through the field from behind. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
It’s a bittersweet feeling after qualifying today. Nico took a dominant pole position and the car is really quick here. The team at the track has done a great job and the upgrades we brought are working well. But we didn’t get to see the battle we had all hoped for after Lewis suffered a repeat of the failure he experienced in Shanghai. It’s so unfortunate for him after the problems he has already faced this season – and of course we have the concern that the same thing could happen again. But this is also part of motor racing. The Power Unit is a core element of performance and one of our biggest strengths. We are pushing hard to find lap time in every area and it’s inevitable that sometimes you reach limits in that process. Lewis has handled everything so far this year with calm and professionalism. He is resilient and showing a great attitude, even though this is a tough time for him. For tomorrow, it’s clear we are in a strong position in terms of performance. But like the saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish…

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
A great pole lap for Nico and our congratulations to him on a fantastic performance throughout the weekend so far. Unfortunately, however, our day has been tainted by a failure which deprived Lewis of a shot at pole – and deprived the fans of what would surely have been a thrilling climax to an immensely close battle between our two drivers. We’ve let Lewis down for the second weekend in a row, so our apologies go to him once again. It’s a cruel twist of fate that, out of eight Mercedes-Benz Power Units on the grid, the problem should befall the same driver twice. We’ve been working very hard over the past couple of weeks to understand what happened in China – but unfortunately there is clearly still more work to be done. Our focus for the immediate future, however, is on making sure Lewis’ car is in the best possible condition for tomorrow’s race to give him the best chance of making the kind of strong recovery we’ve seen him pull off so many times in the past.

Formula One: Mercedes Debrief – Assessing a Power Unit Failure

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Some light reading for you between FP3 and Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix. Mercedes AMG Petronas explain the power unit failure debrief process following Lewis Hamilton’s challenging Chinese GP weekend:

What do we now know about the failure on Lewis’ Power Unit in Shanghai?
The Power Unit in question arrived back at Brixworth in the early hours of Thursday morning of the week following the race and investigation into the failure has been on-going every minute since its return to the factory. The MGU-H has been stripped and the issue is suspected to be associated with the insulation. The turbocharger will be replaced in addition to the oil pumps, after debris was found in the oil system. With the repairs completed, this Power Unit will remain in the driver pool and travel to Sochi as a spare.

What’s the initial course of action when a Power Unit failure occurs at the track?
First and foremost, a group of engineers at the circuit and a much larger group at Brixworth will pore through readings from the data logger, noting what every sensor on the Power Unit has recorded. That’s an instant check which will quickly establish the severity of the problem.

What happens if a major fault is discovered?
If it’s then determined that there is an issue which cannot be fixed at the track and hardware needs to be removed, the trackside technicians will ready the components for transport back to Brixworth as quickly as possible. The engineer responsible for the system suspected to be at the core of the issue will subsequently draw up a strip request instruction while the components are in transit.

What exactly does a strip request instruction involve?
It’s a detailed sequence of instructions for the technicians working in the build department back at Brixworth, which outlines who will be allocated to each individual stage of the process, what specialist equipment and / or inspection techniques are required and which procedures need to be carried out. The list is written in chronological order with approximate time frames for each step to create a carefully considered timing plan that’s fully resourced.

Where do the technicians begin when deconstructing a failed component?
In most cases, the technicians will start by back-flushing oil through the various galleries and filters of the oil and coolant systems to collect any fine debris. While larger fragments can be removed by hand, the finer debris – which often points to the start of the problem – can settle at the end of blind galleries or in filters downstream of the failed part.

How is debris analysed?
Microscope analysis of the debris is the first stage – looking at the different shapes and sizes present to establish whether it’s a case of fine wear or a component which has shattered into small pieces. The debris will then be scanned with an electron microscope to check its chemical composition. This helps to establish the material type – which in turn provides an indication of the component that the debris might have come from.

What happens next to the various components in question?
Once the debris analysis has been completed and the components that were involved in the failure have all been stripped, everything is physically laid out to mimic its installed configuration. Looking at the series of components in front of them, what debris has been found and where it ended up, the engineers can begin to establish a likely sequence of events. They will then go back through the logged data from the track to find any step changes in the readings from each Power Unit sensor that might match up to a given theory.

Can virtual simulations be used in the investigation process?
Virtual simulation tools give a good insight into what’s going on within a system and are used extensively throughout the development phase. When a component has failed, those models can be referred back to and changes made commensurate with what the team suspects has gone wrong to mimic the cause of the failure.

Does the team ever carry out physical simulations to re-create a failure?
Deliberate errors can be manufactured into hardware, which can then be tested on the dyno in an attempt to replicate a failure. This might be seen as an expensive means of testing – but it’s cheaper than having a repeat issue at the circuit. Engines can be run with clearances altered to be either larger or smaller than the typical build standard tolerances – mimicking a scenario in which a surface has become worn, for example.

What about non-mechanical elements of the Power Unit?
Every element of the Power Unit can and will be analysed where necessary. An electrical component such as a PCB (Printed Circuit Board), for example, might be run in an oven at increasing temperatures to establish at what point its semiconductors stop working. This can then be tied in with knowledge about the temperature of that circuit board in the ERS module to establish whether overheating could be diagnosed as a cause of failure.

Who is generally involved in the diagnosis process?
In the first instance, an engineer with expertise in the system concerned will be assigned exclusively to investigating the issue through to its resolution. He or she will chair a meeting at least every 24hrs, calling in four to five people to help cogitate theories. These tend to be people that have a broad experience of the Power Unit, a good problem solving mindset and an ability for lateral thinking – working through theories step by step to ensure they are robust

Formula One: Assessing car damage LIVE!

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Merecedes AMG Petronas have released a film with Simon Cole, the team’s Chief Trackside Engineer, explaining the decision making process undertaken by the team when assessing the damage to Lewis Hamilton’s car following his first corner accident in Bahrain.

Simon explains that when an incident of this nature occurs the ingoing assumption is that the car will be making a pit stop to make repairs. From this point the team move  to further understand the damage and communicate a decision to the driver.

Despite limitations on radio communication, Lewis explaining the impact of the damage from his perspective remain vital to the decision making process with the driver being able to give feedback on elements the team do not have telemetry on.

For the Motorsport Geek, the film also introduces a new term! The SPLEF – Side Pod Leading Edge Flick. Who knew?

For more films from Mercedes AMG Petronas Click Here

Formula One: Additional Qualcomm branding for Mercedes in China

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Throughout the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix weekend, the front wing end plates of both Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid Formula One cars will carry special branding to celebrate a shared passion for innovation between China and Official Team Partner Qualcomm.

The Chinese characters translate directly as “Enjoy the Future Now” – illustrating the ambition of both China and Qualcomm to bring the future forward faster as essential accelerators of progress, unlocking what’s next for the entire mobile tech industry.

To find our more about the Qualcomm Mercedes Partnership click here.