Mercedes fixes radio loophole after Sakhir GP blunder

Mercedes has put fixes in place to avoid a repeat of the radio issue that led to its Formula 1 pit stop blunder at the Sakhir Grand Prix last weekend

Mercedes fixes radio loophole after Sakhir GP blunder

Mercedes ran 1-2 through most of the race at the Bahrain International Circuit as COVID-positive Lewis Hamilton's stand-in George Russell led from Valtteri Bottas, only for a safety car to prompt the team to try and double-stack its cars.

But a radio issue meant Russell's side of the garage did not hear the call to say he was pitting, resulting in the wrong tyres being taken to his car.

Russell's car was fitted with Bottas's front-axle tyres, meaning Mercedes had to re-fit Bottas's car with his old hard tyres after keeping him stationary for 27 seconds.

It left Bottas struggling through the final stint as he slumped to eighth place, finishing ahead of Russell in ninth after the British driver suffered a late puncture.

PLUS: The F1 sanity that left Russell with some Sakhir solace

Mercedes said shortly after the race that it would work to put fixes in place, with team principal Toto Wolff confirming on Friday that they had already been implemented ahead of the Abu Dhabi season finale.

"It's always painful when you learn on the job, and this is going to make us better like the many times that we fell on our nose," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"We had just an intercom loophole, the channels were overlapping themselves, and the guys on George's side didn't hear that he was coming in.

"We fixed that now. We even put some additional back-up measures in place.

"It's not going to happen again."

After Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the fastest FP1 time in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes was able to respond in second practice by taking a 1-2 finish, led by Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton returned to the cockpit of his Mercedes W11 after returning negative COVID tests, but appeared to have an issue at the end of the session when he could not pull out of his pit box.

Wolff explained this was related to a clutch issue, but that a new feature on the Mercedes car ensured Hamilton could restart it manually.

"We had a clutch issue, and then the car wouldn't restart," Wolff said.

"He reset it and was able to restart. It's something we've been looking for for a while. Many other manufacturers can do that."

shares
comments
F1 Abu Dhabi GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more
Previous article

F1 Abu Dhabi GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

F1 2020's fiercest battle now hinges on a 0.068s swing

F1 2020's fiercest battle now hinges on a 0.068s swing
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022