The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was one of Lewis Hamilton’s worst performances in Formula 1 with the Mercedes team, as the Briton couldn’t get past 14th place all weekend, both in the sprint race and in the Sunday’s date.
The British driver blamed the inherent problems of the W13 with porpoising , but to that must be added the suffering he had to warm up his tyres. The combination of these factors meant that the seven-time world champion could never be inside the points positions.
However, the last straw for the Englishman was that he got stuck behind Pierre Gasly, unable to overtake the AlphaTauri, even activating the DRS. The engineering director of the German team, Andrew Shovlin , in a video provided to the press, explained the reasons why it was such a disappointing grand prix for Hamilton.
“It’s the same problem we had in the sprint race,” he said of his driver’s problems with overtaking. “When you’re in what we call a ‘train of DRS’, the combined effect of the moving wing at Imola gives you around half a second ahead of the car in front.”
“The problem is that if that car you’re following has also got the DRS, pretty much all that advantage is gone, and that was the main reason in what happened to Lewis [Hamilton], because Gasly had the chance to open it up and he they were still at a similar speed on the straights,” Shovlin said.
“Lewis wasn’t able to get parallel and that’s why he spent most of the race frustratingly stuck in that position,” continued the engineer, who also explained why they didn’t try to undercut past their rivals. with the strategy.
“With the benefit it provides, we could have done it, but if you look at the problems we had, you see why we didn’t do it,” said the Mercedes engineering manager. “We spoke to Lewis but the car, all weekend, was struggling to warm up the tyres, and with a wet track it’s a very difficult situation.”
During early free practice, Hamilton failed to get his tires into the correct operating window, even setting his best times on extreme rain tires instead of intermediate ones when the tarmac was drying out.
“We have to understand why this happens to us to get the tires up to temperature. We know from the past that Lewis excels in these conditions, he is very, very good, but, as I said, there is a problem we have with this car, it is very complicated. for us to get temperature,” said the engineer. “We need to fix that before we get back to a situation where we can bet on variable conditions.”
Mercedes is trying to fix all the hiccups of its W13, and it is possible that they will bring forward some of the updates to test if they work from the next appointment in Miami. Andrew Shovlin, speaking about his boss Toto Wolff ‘s statement that they should find the key, said: “This question refers to what Toto meant when he said that we had not found the key to open the door of the solution”.
“It’s a bit of a cliché, but the reality is that we can’t race this car as it’s been designed to,” he continued. “We’re having to put in higher ride heights, and that means less performance. That could happen to almost every car on the grid, a lot of people are having this problem, and we know that raising the ride height a bit is a way of alleviating it.”
“A large part of the work we are doing in Brackley, to understand the phenomenon and, if we can, control it, designing something to get it out of the car,” explained the Englishman. “When Toto talks about finding the key, what he’s really saying is is there an aerodynamic solution that we can apply?
“Realistically, we think that this will be something that at some point disappears, and we are seeing encouraging signs, but, as I said, we hope to bring new things soon, maybe in Miami, where we can see the progress”, sentenced the person in charge of the engineers from the Brackley team.