Mercedes has estimated that the damage caused to Lewis Hamilton’s car in the collision with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Mexican Grand Prix cost the British driver seven seconds across the course of the race.

Hamilton made contact with Red Bull driver Verstappen at Turn 2 on the first lap at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, causing him to lose a chunk of bodywork from the Mercedes W10 car.

Hamilton recovered from the contact that left him running fifth to take his 10th victory of the season, and was quick to draw attention to his damaged car while celebrating his win at the podium after the race.

Speaking in Mercedes’ Pure Pit Wall debrief, technical director James Allison explained how the damage to Hamilton’s car had been estimated to be worth around 0.1 seconds per lap, adding up to seven seconds in total across the race distance.

“When Lewis and Verstappen tangled at the start there was actually a reasonable amount of damage to Lewis’s car in the subsequent collision. If you watch the race footage carefully, you’ll just see a strip of bodywork flying up past the camera and that strip of bodywork was a piece of Lewis’s floor disappearing from the scene,” Allison said.

“That strip of bodywork is a thing we call the wouvre panel and it runs down the outside edge of the floor. There was also a little bit of damage to the front wing endplate and these two things combined to give Lewis a loss of aerodynamic downforce equivalent to about 0.1s per lap.

“It might not sound a lot but if you remember that the race is 70 laps long, then over the course of that entire race, that’s worth about seven seconds. Remembering that at the end of the race Lewis was less than two seconds in front of [Sebastian] Vettel, you can see that those seven seconds are a meaningful amount.

“It adds emphasis to the fact this was a very fine, very controlled drive that Lewis put in on Sunday, able to stay ahead of the Ferrari, showing good pace and good consistency despite carrying that damage throughout.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...