Mercedes has revealed the extent of the front wing damage Lewis Hamilton picked up during Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, explaining how much it impacted his race.
TV coverage showed Hamilton repeatedly running wide over the kerbs in the early stages of last weekend’s race and he suffered damage to his front wing following a wide moment coming out of the final corner shortly prior to his scheduled pit stop.
The incident dislodged the flap adjuster on the front wing of Hamilton’s W10, causing the world championship leader to lose significant downforce despite the damage appearing minimal aesthetically.
“That’s the thing we use to change the angle of the flaps on the left and right side of the wing, that changes how much downforce it produces and this is one of the main tools the drivers and the engineers use to balance the car, they are trying to put more load on the front.
Mercedes subsequently changed Hamilton’s front wing during his pit stop which took around 11 seconds and resulted in him losing a position to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
Shovlin revealed that the loss of around eight extra seconds in the pit stop was significantly less time than Hamilton would have conceded over the remainder of the race had the team opted not to replace the front wing.
“Pitstop practice we do really every day of the race weekend, and the front wings, we’ll normally do a couple of practice front wing changes in each pit stop practice,” he added.