Mercedes Motorsport Strategy Director James Volls has explained Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure at the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
Hamilton finished third despite a brief engine failure. The problem recurred in the race, with Hamilton finishing second while team-mate George Russell also suffered a power failure.
Mercedes explained that the problems were caused by problems with the optimization of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City due to the unique conditions at an altitude of 2,285 meters above sea level.
“Generally speaking, you’re going to show the engine in a state where it’s mostly used on the sea floor,” Volls explained in a video released by the team. “That’s where most of the competition takes place.
“Suddenly you go to these high levels and you’re in a very different situation and you’re back to doing more work with the power unit than having a very tuned engine. Shorter time to try and measure these mistakes. I’m sure all teams suffer from this, it’s no different for us.
The problem was particularly severe in qualifying, with Hamilton’s car starting to emerge at the end of Q2. That, along with a mistake on the first lap of Q3, which led to his lap time being canceled for a track limit violation, saw Hamilton the fastest on the grid in the first two stages of qualifying.
“Typically there’s an emphasis on efficiency because you’re applying the throttle pedal very quickly and quickly, which means the turbo and fuel injection systems have to adapt to the change very quickly,” Volls explains.
“It’s usually better in the run. We were hoping the race wouldn’t be that bad and when the drivers were asking for the throttle and lifting the throttle it was simply not delivering the power they were asking for so quickly. [not] Not enough fuel or not enough air.
“It can be fixed in time and where we got to the tournament was not bad, I think qualifying was worse. But it still results in a slight performance loss for both drivers.
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2022 Mexican Grand Prix
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