Mercedes hopeful of fixing F1 Austrian GP gearbox issues

Mercedes is hopeful of putting fixes in place to prevent a repeat of its Austrian Grand Prix gearbox issues in time for this week's Red Bull Ring Formula 1 race

Mercedes hopeful of fixing F1 Austrian GP gearbox issues

Valtteri Bottas led all 71 laps en route to victory in the 2020 season opener, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton finishing second on-track before being demoted to fourth with a penalty.

But both drivers were issued critical gearbox warnings throughout the race as Mercedes warned them to stay off the aggressive kerbing at the exit of the corners.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained that the issue emerged very early in the race, and feared it would be an "instant kill" for the W11 cars.

The Red Bull Ring has traditionally been a weak circuit for Mercedes reliability in recent years, and the team faces a tight window to get fixes in place ahead of the second race at the circuit this weekend.

Wolff said that he remained hopeful solutions could be put in place to avoid the issue being as harmful in the second Austria race.

PLUS: How Bottas won F1's survival of the fittest

"We have a great group around Simon Cole on trackside reliability, and he and his team are going to [work to] solve that problem until next week," Wolff said.

"What I understand is that there are solutions that we can at least improve the situation. Austria is for sure stressing these parts on the car most in all of the season.

"So if we find a way around of protecting the car next weekend, we should be fine. I think we have ideas."

Wolff pinned the reliability issues on the nature of the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring, which drivers tend to use at the exit of a number of corners in order to optimise their lap time.

"The reliability issues here come from from the kerbs. It's a great track, but if you run the kerbs too wide which is within the rules, you damage your suspension," Wolff said.

"It is a permanent evaluation of the driver, how quickly you want to go, how much you want to ride the kerbs and obviously, by nature, they want to go as quick as possible.

"If you do that, you risk suspension damage or vibrations to the car that can break it."

shares
comments
Autosport Podcast: F1 Austrian Grand Prix review
Previous article

Autosport Podcast: F1 Austrian Grand Prix review

Next article

McLaren: Norris has made "the next step" with first F1 podium

McLaren: Norris has made "the next step" with first F1 podium
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021