At the action-packed 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton finished second on the grid, just behind his Finnish teammate, Valtteri Bottas. But even as Ferrari were beaten fair and square, yet again, their arch-rivals beating them once again to the top step of the podium, there was something that wasn’t alright for Mercedes, or should one say, specifically about Lewis Hamilton?
As the VSC was deployed toward the closing stages of the contest, Lewis Hamilton, who did have great race pace and perhaps stood a great chance of beating Valtteri Bottas, found his contest a bit compromised all thanks to the virtual safety car.
Apparently, Lewis Hamilton, who is second on the driver standings behind his teammate, lost close to 2 seconds during the tumultuous VSC period. This wasn’t an ordinary loss. This was a costly deterrent for the four-time world champion in the sense that it truly compromised his chances of grabbing a win.
Bottas, who secured a win, being around 1.5 seconds in the lead with Hamilton trailing saw his British teammate hold on to a second. Things were rather bleak for Lewis Hamilton since a late tow from the Williams of George Russell didn’t really help his case one bit.
Lewis Hamilton, at this time, was asked to do a number of switch changes. This was being carried out in order to have his Silver Arrows in a more ‘Performant’ mode. It’s part of the regular process, as shared by the team’s strategist James Vowels.
Lewis Hamilton, it was reported, wasn’t able to identify the ‘delta time.’
As a result of this occurrence, Lewis Hamilton is all set to undergo a change in his car’s system following the risky loss at Baku. In fact, Hamiton was himself of the view that he along with his team should explore different ways of improving the system.
His team shared the following:
“During the VSC at the end of the race, you would’ve seen Lewis lose a couple of seconds of race time relative to Valtteri, which could’ve been crucial to the win,” said Vowles.
“When the VSC ends, the driver gets a notification on his screen on his dash and that’s something that we have the ability to control what’s displayed and what’s not.
“We asked Lewis to do a number of switch changes, which is normal to put the car into a more performant mode. But with every change, he lost sight of what that delta time was.