After Lewis Hamilton’s awful performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, finishing in P15, Mercedes has pledged to give him a better car for the upcoming French Grand Prix.
Hamilton looked well on course to win the race, as he was just behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. After the restart at Lap 50, following Max Verstappen’s crash, Hamilton, still second, hit a button on the steering wheel that turned out to be connected to the brake, causing him to skid straight down the Turn One escape road. That wrong move cost him a lot as he crossed the finish line as the 15th position, without any points for the first time since 2018.
Mercedes technology director, Mike Elliott took o YouTube to try and explain what had happened from Hamilton’s point of view to understand what really went wrong; “Lewis had done all the right things, he got the car to the grid, he switched off the various buttons and settings he needed to switch off, switched on the ones he needed to switch on, it was all set to start the race properly.”
He continued, “He made a fantastic start, he got himself up alongside Perez and as he and Perez were sort of shuffling position Lewis swerved and in the process of swerving he just clipped the magic button and unfortunately he didn’t feel he had done it. So, he had completely no awareness he was going to have a problem. The point he then braked, which was the normal point for him to brake, he was in the position where he got all of the brake balance shifted forward, which put all of the load through the front tyres and as a consequence they locked and from that point there was nothing that he could do than go wide.”
Elliot also said that although Hamilton had taken the blame for what happened at the Baku Circuit, it is still very unlike him because he makes so few mistakes, which is what gives him the edge over other drivers. He, however, said that “It’s our duty to try and give him a car where it’s more difficult for him to make mistakes,” adding that Mercedes had some blame in what happened on Sunday and it is left for them to do better in the next race.
Written by: Leon Osamor