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F1 Russian GP: How Ecclestone helped prevent Hamilton grid penalty...

Lewis Hamilton's run to second place in the Russian Grand Prix may not have been possible without the efforts of his team... and Bernie Ecclestone.
Toto Wolff has revealed Lewis Hamilton could have been forced to start the Russian Grand Prix towards the back of the grid had Bernie Ecclestone not intervened to transport a necessary part from the UK to Sochi overnight.

Hamilton suffered a problem with his MGU-H during qualifying in Russia, leaving him a provisional tenth on the grid pending any potential penalties for changing any components outside of the allocated pool.

However, Mercedes' efforts were complicated by an upgrade made to the fuel system ahead of the race weekend, which meant it was missing certain spare parts to ensure the replacements were like-for-like as dictated by the regulations. Without this, Hamilton would be have been forced to take a penalty.

As a result, Mercedes would go to the lengths of chartering a flight from the UK over to Sochi overnight with the parts in question, allowing the team to make the necessary alterations in the morning ahead of the race and avoid the penalty.

However, as Wolff reveals, it was very likely the 'box' would become mired in a time-sapping customs issue had F1 supremo Ecclestone not intervened to get it hurried through.

“It was a team's effort from many people involved. Niki [Lauda] tried to organise the plane and the slot. We had various options at a certain stage and had to choose which one would come in earliest.

“Paddy's [Lowe] assistant Nicole sorted out the airport and we got the plane, got the bit on the plane, got the guy on the plane, and Bernie sorted the customs!

“The detail was that the plane landed with the box and within 90 seconds the part was in the car on the way to the airport, so I don't want to know how he sorted that! So yes he played a huge role in making Lewis start…”

Hamilton went on to finish in second position, behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

by Ollie Barstow


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.04.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
Pirelli tyre compound choices, Malaysian Grand Prix [Credit: Pirelli]
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
18.09.2016 - Race, 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner, 2nd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
18.09.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
18.09.2016 - Race, (L-R) Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Racing Director
18.09.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

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mikeas

May 02, 2016 12:17 PM
Last Edited 67 days ago

Actually it is typical of Bernie. He is petrified that Rosberg keeps a big points lead and turns the Championship into a bore-fest. He will do anything to make more of a Rosberg/Hamilton show ('cos sadly Ferrari ain't gonna do it).



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