Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016

Clutch causing Mercedes start problems – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ poor starts are related to problems with their clutch system.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

The driver contest at Red Bull is one to keep a close eye on:

Ricciardo versus Verstappen is getting more and more interesting.

Ricciardo clearly has an advantage in qualifying, from experience he knows exactly how to set up the car perfectly and often pulls out that one near perfect lap, although Q3 in Canada was close to crashing. If Verstappen would have out-qualified Ricciardo already then we would have no competition and we could seriously doubt Ricciardo’s talent.

Verstappen however is great in races, in both Spain and Canada his starts where ‘as good as’, his race pace equal and frequently better than Ricciardo’s. Overtaking and defending is undoubtedly Verstappen’s talent, tyre management around equal or maybe slightly balances toward Verstappen? The overall largest difference is their style, although both aggressive drivers, Verstappen hardly ever shows any lock-ups while we see that more then often happening to Ricciardo.

Is Ricciardo still slightly better? Based on what? Experience? Verstappen had the upper hand on two out of three races while he had only three races in a car which was build around Ricciardo. Verstappen didn’t get it together at Monaco, but his race pace was again very very good.

It would be a tricky bet, but I would already put my money on Verstappen for this (learning) season.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sudhakar, Sankarjune14, Tifoso1989, Winterwarmer, Mashiat and Mashiat!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell took pole position for Williams at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 30 years ago today. Ayrton Senna joined him on the front row for Lotus.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 44 comments on “Clutch causing Mercedes start problems – Hamilton”

    1. The Mercedes clutch issues are unusual. For all the size that team is and the resources it has at it’s disposal they must be throwing everything into trying to come up with a solution to it, yet 1/3 into the season it still seems like they are no further forward to a solution!

      Even though nothing public has really followed up on the “Daimler to assist Merc F1 with start procedures” we read rumours about months ago I bet they are both still cracking on behind closed doors to improve somehow.

      1. @calum It might be something that’s completely unsolvable at this point in the season – possibly because the torque delivery from the engine has now increased to a level that the clutches cannot handle without a complete redesign to parts of the PU or an entirely new or gearbox clutch design, all of which would need a lot of testing (and would need to be introduced in a way to avoid penalties).

      2. I think it was missed that the new clutch directive was put in late (during testing?) not giving teams much time to develop a new solution before the season started unless they had already been preparing and lobbying for the single paddle/clutch start procedure.
        I can think of one team that hired a team principle on his knowledge of “governance mechanisms” that moved to a single paddle steering wheel this year that seem to get off the line pretty well…

      3. sunny stivala
        14th June 2016, 12:36

        the poor starts are all down to the driver and nothing to do with the clutch

        1. you seemed to be an expert on clutch tech and engine power conversion to gearing to wheels… armchair master, could you please explain what are the drivers doing wrong in technical terms? it seems the geniuses at mercedes think there is a problem but they are no match to your wise knowledge…

          1. sunny stivala
            15th June 2016, 9:30

            yes the Mercedes team think/believe there is a problem with one of their cars race starts.
            that car’s race start problems is all down to the driver foot and hand finger tips sensitivity.
            said race start sensitivity (most of it) was managed by the pit wall on the car’s out lap to the starting grid pre 2015 Belgium.
            since Belgium 2015 race start sensitivity ones the car leaves the pits to the racing grid has been returned to the driver to manage.
            no team manufactures its own clutch, they all use (are supplied) by either AP racing or ZF Sachs.

            1. Good, let the hate flow through you!

            2. Are u the same Sunny from crash?

      4. I feel like Ferrari has had a particularly good clutch for years now. Remember all of those starts in 2012-2013ish, where Fernando managed to get ahead of the Red Bulls at the start, usually to be passed a few corners later?

        I had wondered at the time whether Fernando was particularly good at starting, or whether Ferrari had a better clutch. Judging by his starts at McLaren, it seems to be a bit of both.

        1. Exactly and Mercedes have been having clutch problems for years as well. This is not the first time they lock out the front row in qualifying only to lose the lead already before the first corner.

    2. Something weird is happening in F1 in terms of viewing figures, I don’t think anybody can really say the racing this year has been boring, quite the opposite yet on paper at least the figures are still declining. Unfortunately decisions in F1 will be made of the back of these figures when they paint a uneven picture. How many people who are “watching online” aren’t being tracked in those figures? and the multiple other variables that make the viewing figures a misleading guide. Sport as a whole around the world is declining in viewers, but is all sport “broken” in the way that F1 is continually said to be? I doubt it.

      Can the racing and the product itself be improved? Of course! the same goes for all sport but I don’t think this is an F1 problem in itself. It’s a consumption problem that the media and entertainment industry are facing as a whole. The way that people are consume entertainment is changing, the way the want to watch it, pay for it etc…

      The days of the premium “Sky TV model” is ending, didn’t one of the top guys in F1 say that themselves only the other day? If we look at the growth of services like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime compared to the decline of the traditional media powerhouses. Funnily enough maybe F1 should look at the WWE for inspiration in it’s future. The WWE saw the writing on the wall and declining viewing figures from cable TV, so they created the WWE Network, I’m not a subscriber myself as I grew out of wrestling a long time ago, but if I think of the offering you can get from that service and apply it to F1 the product becomes incredibly attractive to a fan of the sport.

      Imagine a service where you pay £X a month and you can watch all practice sessions, qually & the race live. With paddock access to the drivers, apps on consoles, web & smart TV’s with all the drivers tracking, live timing, multiple feeds etc, app’s where you can choose to watch F1 the way you want to watch it, even combine live feeds of drivers and the main feed or main feed along with driver tracking and live timing on a single screen. Then once the race is over you could access a FULL catalog of races from 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and current. I’d pay monthly to have access to the back catalog of races alone. So I didn’t have to search the internet for some badly recorded and compressed version of a classic race, or for that matter wait for Sky to pick what classic races I can watch.

      Personally I don’t think the product is all that broken or should I say anywhere as near as broken the viewing figures and some old people say it is, it’s just how it’s sold & delivered to the viewers that is broken. Sadly the world, especially media is full of old hats like Bernie who are sitting on piles of cash and exclusive contracts pulling in vast amount of money that are too short sighted to make real change. It wont be the product that kills F1 or other sports, it will be people like Bernie who just wont let go and open up to a changing world, because that changing world doesn’t build there bank accounts in the same way right now.

      1. I think the decline in vieuwing will have much to do with the football EC starting this weekend @woodyd91

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          14th June 2016, 11:20

          (un)Surprisingly that happened in most European countries except the Netherlands ;-)

          1. Yeah, Max Verstappen did lot for viewing numbers in the Netherlands @coldfly :-P

      2. Very interesting points you have raised.
        Major sports still have a massive number of followers albeit older pre-millennials.
        The problem with the decline of spectators in almost all sports is that millennials have diverse ways of entertaining themselves. The routine act of turning on and sitting in front of a TV set or appearing as a spectator to see a sporting event doesn’t fly with them.
        They may not watch the sport but they are playing the game. Sports in general is changing with some of those changes taking place in the digital world. On-line gaming is branching out and in the process becoming bigger and better organised. On-line gaming events/tournaments are becoming more spectacular leading to greater interests from fans and businesses.
        If e-sports is here to stay, what efforts therefore are being made by the FIA to stay relevant even in the digital world? Who knows if the next gen of F1 stars will all be racing digital versions of F1 cars for various teams while we watch them through live feeds or live in stadia?
        Of course there are those millennials who would prefer to entertain themselves in other ways but the consensus is that hiding F1 behind a pay wall has not helped attract new viewers.
        In a world where youth unemployment is in double digits in various countries and where wages have remained largely stagnant, the likelihood of a millennial affording to attend a grand prix or having to pay monthly for a TV package which includes a bunch of things he/she does not need is very low.
        So the decline in sports’ viewing figures will continue because it is as much a problem of changing demographics as it is a fall out from social imbalance which has lingered for a while.

      3. @woodyd91

        Imagine a service where you pay £X a month and you can watch all practice sessions, qually & the race live.

        This is what most would prefer as opposed to expensive pay-tv lockouts, but it requires the CRH to do the investment, which CVC won’t do. Better to let Sky pay them a couple of billion for the opportunity.

      4. Viewing figures are a strange thing to get a handle on at the best of times, but these are the key quotes for me from that piece that go some way to explaining why the figures were so low:

        “As always, a reminder that viewing figures exclude Sky Go, Now TV and All4.”

        Given the time the race was on (particularly the delayed extended highlights of the race on C4) I assume may would have waited to watch the race on demand. Also, many who would have wanted to watch the race would be casual fans who would be more included to watch overpaid prima donnas kicking footballs around…so if they watched the race at all it would have been on demand.

        “Highlights of the Montreal round, broadcast on Channel 4 from 22:40 to 00:40, averaged just 1.30m (15.3%), peaking with 1.72m.”

        As an F1 Fanatic I dutifully stayed away from the F1 news and waited to watch the delayed extended highlights “as live”. My wife and cat decided bed was a better option, I’m sure many others followed their lead (and if they did they probably ended up watching the race on demand).

        1. @geemac – Highlights “as live” for me too. Also avoided by wife and cats.

      5. “Imagine a service where you pay £X a month and you can watch all practice sessions, qually & the race live. With paddock access to the drivers, apps on consoles, web & smart TV’s with all the drivers tracking, live timing, multiple feeds etc, app’s where you can choose to watch F1 the way you want to watch it, even combine live feeds of drivers and the main feed or main feed along with driver tracking and live timing on a single screen. Then once the race is over you could access a FULL catalog of races from 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and current.”

        I don’t have to imagine because all you have done is describe basically Sky Sports. For £X a month (and how I wish that X were smaller) I can watch every session live, pre and post event interviews and features and get the sky sports app which has onboard feeds, timing screens and driver track, pit lane radio etc. Inbetween live session the F1 channel broadcasts classic races (usually based on the current GP weekend I.E. recently it has been canadian GP’s) as well as feature programmes and interviews.

        The major issue with Sky F1 for me is I have to pay for the complete sports package and I only want to watch F1 :(

      6. The Sky figure of 853k is normal isn’t it? Or even up a bit. It’s the highlights that dropped. I can imagine it’s a number of factors all combining but one of them, I feel sure, is the loss of involvement that comes with highlights as opposed to live. I bet it’s a gradual, ongoing process.

      7. Probably has something to do with the television going the way of the dinosaur and not being terribly interested in paying to watch F1. The cars will sound like cr*p even if they put a microphone + speaker next to the exhaust.

      8. money and un regiseterd views the website i was watching on has a counter and there was over 3000 there alone

    3. What a rubbish COTD. 2 out 3 to Verstappen?! In what dreamland? Spain was clearly Ricciardo’s. The team gave it to MV. Monaco DR destroyed MV. Canada MV got lucky in turn 2 as Rosberg returned to the track in front of DR thus gifting Verstappen track position over Ricciardo. Had Rosberg not happened DR would’ve stayed ahead

      I’m impartial in this as I’m not in favor of any of these 2 drivers, but this “COTD” is an insult to intelligence. Mind boggling how someone can suggest something so un-supported by facts and get COTD. But I guess if you tell a lie enough times you might convince yourself and others that it is the truth…

      1. Agree, that is a total rubbish COTD, no one who understands F1 could come to that conclusion.

        1. It is well-documented that Ricciardo was poor on tyre management in Spain and that’s why the team changed his 2-stop strategy to a 3-stopper, since they had serious doubts about the condition of his tyres in the 2nd stint and didn’t think he could finish the race with a 2-stopper. In hindsight you can predict he would have made it till the end of the race with the 2nd set of tyres, but the team lacked the crystal ball and mitigated the risks.
          In his first race for RBR, Verstappen was better in tyre management than Ricciardo and Verstappen defended very well, it is all documented on the telemetry charts, pure facts…
          So if you just stick to the facts you come to that conclusion, if you live in conspiracy fairyland and doubt computers Ricciardo got screwed by his team.

          Positioning and getting out of trouble at the start is a quality. Ricciardo has been praised for his positioning in other races and rightly so.
          Verstappen, positioned himself very well at the start in Canada, This time Verstappen did a better job than Ricciardo, got in front of Ricciardo and when it really mattered pulled away from Ricciardo. Overtaking and defending without destroying your tyres is a quality too, Verstappen showed his defending skills and still managed his tyres, Ricciardo ruined his tyres again when he defended against Bottas.

          In Monaco Ricciardo was at his very best, but his team ruined his chances to win the race with a very slow pitstop, very sad for him.
          But it would be silly to even think the team did it on purpose. Ricciardo lost his temper in the aftermath and kept moaning and groaning for 2 weeks and had a mediocre race in Canada.
          Verstappen screwed up in Monaco all by himself, took the blame and moved on and pulled away again a stunning race in Canada.
          So 2 times Verstappen had the upper hand and one time in Monaco Ricciardo had the upper hand big time, pure facts…

          Another fact in the 2 races he finished since he joined RBR Verstappen scored more points than Ricciardo in all 3…
          If you think racing is all about qualifying than you are absolutely right Ricciardo outshone Verstappen by a mile, but you still don’t get extra points for your qualifying performance, pure facts…

          1. sorry, gotta call you on a few things:
            The team came out and said that they didn’t think ANYONE could last the race distance on 2 stop strategy in Spain, and expected to stop to MV towards the end of the race. Words used by Horner and Verstappen himself in post race commentary. To say it was just Ricciardo is incorrect. He was unlucky, and copped it sweet.

            In Monaco – where the driver makes more of a difference than the car, Ricciardo obliterated Verstappen in practice, qualifying and the race, and MV binned the car into wall on all 3 days, 2 of them in the same place. I didn’t see Ricciardo whinge or complain for 2 weeks post Monaco either, he didn’t bring it up once but answered questions politely and correctly when he was asked.

            In Canada, he got unlucky at the start with Rosberg’s re-entry to the track (you can see the car behaviour as he comes off throttle to avoid collision) and wore his tyres out quicker throughout the race.

            There is 1 race in 3 in which MV has outperformed Ricciardo on pure merit – in Canada, and most people can see that.

            1. Thank you for praising my analytic skills in such a fine manner.
              But that it is too much honour.
              Yes, I’m a toddler, but didaho, bibabo, dadada, I don’t wet my paints anymore, haha

            2. On french tv, Prost more or less had a similar analysis to @auria. Maybe you’d like to share your argumentation with him Didaho ?

      2. That’s the perfect comment right here.

        What can make someone think that Verstappen out-performed Ricciardo yesterday ?
        Ricciardo had to avoid the Mercedes not once, but twice at the start, and then Verstappen got ahead.

        After the first round of pits, Verstappen got out just ahead of Kimi, and Ricciardo just behind.
        And that was it. Kimi was slow and Ricciardo couldn’t overtake him.

        1. RIC losing a couple places because of unpredictable events (rosberg, spain tyre call) makes VES better, and binning the car _thrice_ in a GP is just a minor detail.


          1. Well, those unpredictable events can hardly be said to reflect on Ric’s driving.

            I mean, they damn well have an effect, but should they reflect on Ric? I think not.

      3. I guess all the F1 fans who vote for “Driver of the Day” must be nuts then.

        It is probably that hotse voters lack perspective and only vote for the driver who happens to be in the spotlight at the moment they are asked to vote.

        Disclaimer: I voted for Sainz

      4. @montreal95 I don’t think it is the case that lying gets you a cotd, it is when something you say is debatable and will generate a conversation, then there is a chance for that to become cotd.

        In this case I agree that DR is not getting a fair shake in cotd. And that does not take anything away from MV. This is going to be a great rivalry and they have many more races ahead. It is way too early to judge these two, and it is a bit irrelevant anyway while they both need to work together to get the team to the top. Their performance against each other needs to take a back seat to advancing the car.

        1. @robbie, I have to agree that a sample set of three races is, frankly, far too small a data set to draw the sorts of wide ranging conclusions that some posters here have made.

          The COTD makes a lot of sweeping assumptions about a very small number of data points, particularly given that the most recent circuits we have been to recently have been in conditions and circuit configurations which are not very representative of the season as a whole. We might have more of an idea by the end of the season, but to make such authoritative statements not seems rather premature.

    4. We knew going into Canada that keeping Merc in dirty air is the ONLY strategy worth pursuing.

      How many more races will it take Ferrari to learn?

      My guess is sometime around 2018….

    5. The much (unfairly and innacurately, IMO) maligned NBCSN TV broadcast “experts” were all over the Ferrari call being way too early. Perhaps some of the detractors of what is actually a reasonably solid TV broadcast package might take a second to wonder if the grass actually is always greener. Sill miss Varsha’s presence, but this crew really gets an unfair shake.

      1. My problem isn’t with the people in front of the camera on NBCSN. I think they do a good job. They’re much better at calling Indycar races than the group at ABC. My frustration comes from the amount of commercials they show during the race. I got so annoyed watching Canada I decided to time the length between ad breaks. After the race start up until lap 55 NBCSN was showing ads every 4 minutes. I got especially angry one time, when one of the Mercedes was coming into pit lane, and NBCSN decided to break for ads right at that moment. If F1 ever offers a reasonably priced season pass online, like MotoGP and WorldSBK do, I would probably subscribe to it.

    6. Thanks for the birthday wishes !!!

    7. Tony Mansell
      14th June 2016, 17:10

      Sunday night, at 1040pm highlights on C4 is the reason. I even subscribed to Sky so I could watch it earlier!

    8. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rosberg copes with his lead being all but gone.

      A lot of people did predict that if Ferrari or Red Bull closed the gap it would be Rosberg who would suffer as they took points from him. The beginning of the season he did well to capitalise on some clean wins, but the last two races where things have been a bit messy he’s been under delivering. Apart from 2014 where they had a silly pace advantage I struggle to recall any impressive recovery drives by Rosberg.

      Hamilton meanwhile has had some pretty disastrous set backs this season, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the results, he typically still clawed back the best that could be achieved after whatever setback befell him. For all the talk people make of ‘anyone’ could win in that car, that’s the reason teams want drivers like Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso.

    9. funny how it only really seems to hit Hamilton round after round. I don’t really buy it. It’s one thing to see Seb light his tires up and get a good launch on a cold circuit, its another to see a guy who usually betters his teammate on starts consistently, every round, lose out on the start, even though he seems to get decent starts no the practice starts.

      –> Doesn’t buy it. I don’t think Mercedes are that incompetent either. I think it’s making for a better spectacle though, would be nice to see Lewis get an honest start soon though, I don’t remember Seb having to struggle against his own team like Lewis does.

      1. It isn’t just hitting Hamilton though, Out of the 6 starts we have had this year Rosberg has lost places on 3 of them. Hamilton has made places on 2.
        It looks to me whatever the issue is, it is exacerbate by spending longer on the grid. Given Hamilton has been on pole more often then not this season he has spent longer waiting on the grid. In China were he started last and so spent the least amount of time on the grid he got away great, Rosberg on pole (and so longer on the grid) didnt and was beaten into the first corner.

    Comments are closed.