Hamilton faced “imminent” engine failure
Mercedes believed that Lewis Hamilton’s engine was going to fail early on in the Brazilian Grand Prix before the five times champion went on to secure the victory.
On lap twenty-eight, the German manufacturer reported that a power unit failure was “imminent” for Hamilton, because of an exhaust issue leading to high temperatures. At that point in the race, Hamilton was urgently trying to make up ground after his early pitstop dropped him out of the lead.
Team principal Toto Wolff explained, to Motosport.com, “We have the engine guys here in the back, and then we have them back at base. I have about 10 channels open, and what I could hear on the meeting channel was ‘Lewis Hamilton, power unit failure imminent.”
“It’s going to fail within the next lap, and I put the volume up and said, ‘Excuse me, what?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, we have a massive problem on the power unit, it’s going to fail on the next lap’.” Wolff says that he couldn’t allow worry to set in and his focus was to make sure I go as easy as I can on the engine whilst doing the job.
Asked if the engine was supposed to be raced in Abu Dhabi and thus there might be some concerns about it, he said: “I’ve not thought that far! I’m not quite sure. Probably, yeah.”
Vettel comprised and forced into setup changes
Ferrari has reviled that Sebastian Vettel was compromised during the Brazilian Grand Prix, after a sensor issue forced him to run the car in a different setting making the car difficult to drive.
The German started the race on the front row but lost out to Valtteri Bottas at the first corner, he then was passed by Max Verstappen a few laps later and then dropped to fifth after locking up at turn four. Vettel eventually finished a distant sixth after being overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo and making a second pitstop, having earlier been ordered to let team-mate Kimi Raikkonen through.
After the race, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said that the team had been aware of a sensor issue from the very start. He added “Right from the formation lap, we became aware of a problem with a sensor on Seb’s car. This meant that, for the whole race, he had to run different settings to those we would have normally used and that made the car difficult to drive.”
Vettel says he was not sure how much of a difference the sensor made and that in the car he tried to do everything he could to work around it.
Ocon “totally irresponsible” for the clash – Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, has defended Max Verstappen following his heated altercation with Esteban Ocon, in parc ferme at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Horner believes that Ocon’s actions when trying to unlap himself were “totally irresponsible.” The Frenchman collided with Verstappen, who was leading the race, when he was trying to unlap himself sending the Dutchman into a spin.
There was even more controversy post-race as a hugely-frustrated Verstappen confronted and pushed Ocon. While the stewards said the on-track actions were a racing incident, they have ordered the Dutchman to serve two days of public service for ‘shoving or hitting Ocon forcibly several times in the chest’.
Horner told the media “We don’t condone violence in any way but you have to understand that emotions are running very high. There’s a lot of history between the two drivers that goes right back to karting.”
“You never know what words were exchanged between them or how Max was antagonised, but you have to understand that a backmarker has just taken a grand prix victory away from you.”
Verstappen was clearly angry with the Force India driver before he angrily confronted him at weighbridge after the race.
But Horner believes it “didn’t get out of hand”, and added: “Drivers aren’t robots at the end of the day and nor should they be. One can understand emotions in the heat of the moment.
At the time of the accident, Verstappen had just extended his lead of the race when Ocon running in fourteenth, attempted to pass the Red Bull around the outside of Turn One, before the two cars made contact at Turn Two.
Verstappen span off, and was quickly five seconds behind Hamilton – a deficit he couldn’t quite make up in a damaged car that Horner claims were costing the Dutchman around a second-a-lap.
Backmarkers are allowed to unlap themselves, but unlapping the race leader is rare.
Teams pick Hypersofts for Abu Dhabi
Pirelli has announced the drivers’ tyre allocation for the final race of the season the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, for the race around Marina Bay the Italian manufacturer has nominated the softest compounds of tyre the Hypersofts, Ultrasofts and Supersofts.
The top three teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, as well as Haas and Sauber, have all gone for eight sets of the hypersofts. Both Mercedes and Red Bull’s have the same allocation of three ultrasofts and two mediums.
While the Ferrari’s, Romain Grosjean and Charles Leclerc has gone for three Ultrasofts and two Supersofts. Grosjean’s teammate Kevin Magnussen and Leclerc’s teammate Marcus Ericsson have four ultrasofts and a medium.
Both McLaren’s and Force India’s have gone for nine hypersofts and two of both the ultrasofts and supersofts. Both Williams and Toro Rosso’s have ten hypersofts, with Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly going for two ultrasofts and a medium, teammates Sergey Sirotkin and Brendon Hartley going for an ultrasoft and two mediums.
Both Renaults have seven hypersofts, Nico Hulkenberg has gone for five ultrasofts and a supersoft, teammate Carlos Sainz has four ultrasofts and two mediums.