Mercedes reveals video of Bottas Monaco F1 wheel removal

Mercedes has published a video removing the stuck right front wheel from Valtteri Bottas' Formula 1 car after the Finn’s retirement in Monaco, which it finally managed to do two days after the race.

Mercedes reveals video of Bottas Monaco F1 wheel removal

The team released a short video clip showing a mechanic working on the car in the Brackley factory on Tuesday morning, shortly after the transporters returned.

The wheel became stuck after Bottas pitted during the race and the nut was stripped by the airgun, making it impossible to remove.

Rather than work further on the car on Sunday night the team opted to save the job for the return to the UK.

In an earlier video Q&A Mercedes head of strategy James Vowles noted that problems at stops were not unusual, given the fine margins involved.

"The whole process is one and a half seconds, that’s it,” said Vowles. "That’s the process of removing a nut, changing a wheel and refitting the new nut.

"As a result of that, as I am sure you can tell, the margin for error is very small and if just the slightest problem happens, it slows the stop down or potentially, in an absolute disastrous case, this happens.”

Vowles explained that the Monaco problem occurred because the wheelgun was presented at a slight angle, and that the issue would be addressed for future races.

 

"Our nuts are what we call captive, they are maintained within the wheel and the tyre, so as the wheel comes off the nut goes with it,” he noted.

"This nut has to hold a wheel to the car such it can cope with 5g forces in braking and laterally as well.

"It’s a huge amount of force going through the axle and the nut and clearly we can never have it coming loose.

"So, the gun is an incredibly powerful gun, such that you can actually see the mechanics having to restrain themselves, holding themselves to the ground, otherwise they get rotated with it at the same time.

"Now, what happened is we came on slightly angled, so when the socket was now connected to the nut, it slightly angled relative to it and as a result of that, now instead of distributing the load across all of the nut it was across a small section and that tore the metal clean off and in fact all of the metal was now removed from the nut.

"As a result of that, the nut was in place and we were unable to remove it.

"Clearly, it’s a circumstance that cost Valtteri dearly and cost the team dearly and one that we are going to put steps in place to mitigate.”

Vowles said Mercedes initially tried to remove the wheel in its Monaco garage, but then decided to wait until the car was returned to Brackley, so it could use specialised equipment and investigate the issue.

"Ultimately there we concluded that to remove that nut we were going to need some fairly heavy equipment and specialist equipment and that would be better done here in the factory," he added.

"More so, it allows us an opportunity to do an autopsy on it to understand really how that nut was worn and gather some clues to allow us to do a better job going forward in the future."

shares
comments

Related video

Painful Monaco GP "a glitch" in Alpine's F1 progression
Previous article

Painful Monaco GP "a glitch" in Alpine's F1 progression

Next article

The day Ron Dennis told Enrique Bernoldi his F1 fortune

The day Ron Dennis told Enrique Bernoldi his F1 fortune
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