Red Bull: Engine derating behind Hamilton struggles in Italian GP sprint

Red Bull suspects that Lewis Hamilton’s struggle to recover in the Italian Grand Prix sprint race was caused by engine derating.

Red Bull: Engine derating behind Hamilton struggles in Italian GP sprint

Hamilton made a poor start from the front row of the grid at Monza and dropped down to fifth place after the first lap.

While his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas controlled the race from the front and took a comfortable win ahead of Max Verstappen, Hamilton found himself trapped behind the McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris that had started on soft tyres.

Although the world champion was able to get close to Norris ahead of him, he could not get a good enough run down the main straight to find a way past in to the first chicane.

Amid some surprise at Hamilton’s failure to overtake the McLaren, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has his suspicions about a key Mercedes weakness that has been exposed.

Horner thinks that Hamilton was suffering from his engine derating at the end of straights – which is when it runs out of the extra 160hp boost that is delivered by battery power.

“When they're running sustainably, they're harvesting [regaining energy in to the battery rather than using it] a lot,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s what we call clipping, so the end of the straights you see the rear light flashing, and that just kills your straightline speed.

“So you can see Lewis getting within half a second [of Norris], which is usually an overtake, but just running out of momentum at the end of the straight.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M , Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M , Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Horner said that if the team’s suspicions are correct, that will be a boost for Red Bull in the race tomorrow, as it means Hamilton will be unable to challenge Verstappen if he needs to.

“It’s good news if we can stay ahead tomorrow,” added Horner. “It means that they won't be able to attack too hard at the end of the straights, because they've got this harvesting going on.”

Read Also:

Horner was clear that the sprint race was pretty much settled by the second chicane, with Hamilton having lost all his positions at the start.

But he says the sprint showed that Red Bull’s race pace was competitive compared to Mercedes.

“I think one lap definitely they are quicker than us,” he said. “I think, actually, there's a couple of corners where we're struggling here, but over a lap we're putting a decent lap together.

“Max in the dirty air was able to run at the same pace as Valtteri, as they moved away from the rest of the field.

“And of course, you don't want to take too much risk in a race like that. So we're just grateful to see the points and start from the front tomorrow.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton expects Verstappen Monza walkover after bad sprint start

Previous article

Hamilton expects Verstappen Monza walkover after bad sprint start

Next article

Perez: "Very boring" F1 sprint races "don't bring anything"

Perez: "Very boring" F1 sprint races "don't bring anything"
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021