2017 Bahrain Grand Prix team radio highlights: Race

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Mercedes issued team orders at least three times during the Bahrain Grand Prix. However they cancelled their first instruction for Valtteri Bottas to let Lewis Hamilton by.

However they swapped the running order of their drivers twice more as they tried to use Hamilton’s quicker pace to attack race leader Sebastian Vettel, despite Hamilton picked up a five-second penalty for a pit lane transgression.

Here are the team radio highlights from yesterday’s race.

Kevin Magnussen encountered a problem on his Haas before the race even started.

“Magnussen: “It doesn’t feel healthy, guys, there’s something wrong.”
“OK we’ll take a look.”

“Hamilton: “It’s quite dusty in the pit lane.”
“Copy that.”

To Stroll: “After turn 13 we’re lift-and-coast, straight to grid, check your drinks.”
“Drinks are working.”

“Radio check from the garage.”
Hamilton: “OK.”
“Still headwind into one changing between 10 and 20kph.”

Kimi Raikkonen’s mechanics attended to a minor problem on the grid.

Raikkonen: “What’s the issue?”
“Just a little bit of damage on the turning vane so we’re adding some tape to cover it up.”

As the race started Valtteri Bottas kept his lead from pole position but ran a slow pace due to high tyre pressures.

To Verstappen: “OK Max display eight when you can.”

Lap 2 To Bottas: “HPP eight to two.”

To Verstappen: “Alright Max maybe some tyre management going on ahead. Keep a decent gap.”
L3 To Hamilton: “Try to improve lift-and-coast efficiency. Verstappen 0.5 behind.”

L4 To Bottas: “Vettel now has DRS, use overtake.”
L6 To Ricciardo: “Pace at the front stable. People doing 36.5s. Not opening up much. Pulling away from Massa, he’s holding up Raikkonen.”

“L8 Stroll: “Think about boxing.”

Raikkonen overtook Massa early on
Raikkonen passed Felipe Massa.

To Raikkonen: “Great job Kimi.”

L9 To Alonso: “Stroll just pitted, we’re still thinking Plan A.”

Max Verstappen went out shortly after pitting.

“Brakes failed. Aargh!”

L13 To Raikkonen: “Do the opposite to Ricciardo. Concentrate on position. Alonso, Palmer on track. And engine one, Kimi.”

A collision between Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jnr brought out the Safety Car. Mercedes reacted by pitting both their drivers. Sebastian Vettel had already made his pit stop, and took the lead.

L13 Stroll: “I got hit from the side.”

To Bottas: “Only just positive, it’s going to be tight with Vettel.”

Nothing was heard on the radio in response to this question. Red Bull may be using a dial setting on their steering wheel for their drivers to give yes/no responses without them being broadcast.

To Ricciardo: “Looked like Hamilton slowed down in the pit lane in front of you, can you confirm that?”
“OK, understood.”

Bottas almost got Vettel at the restart
After the restart Bottas was initially told to let Hamilton through but he closed the gap to Vettel and Mercedes told him to maintain position. Note that the lap numbers refer to the lap on which the message was heard in the broadcast.

L17 To Vettel: “No DRS for Bottas, no DRS. 1.2 seconds behind.”
L18 To Vettel: “Have you set to mode to push? Move it, and then back to push, please. OK now it’s fine. Bottas one second behind.”
To Vettel: “We don’t need to back off, you can push.”
“Give me an update on the wind.”
“Stand by. Tailwind turn 11. 15kph. And Bottas 1.5 behind.”

L20 To Hulkenberg: “Really need to start looking after the rears now.”
“I am already a lot.”
“OK, it’s just they’re creeping up.”

Hamilton: “Need to pick up the pace. Can’t let the Ferrari go away.”
“OK copy, copy.”

To Bottas: “So Valtteri it’s important you stay with Vettel. Lewis is in strat six behind on the soft tyre so you need to keep with Vettel.”
“So Valtteri we need you to be within a second of Vettel, you need to be in DRS, and you’ll get a maximum of two laps to achieve that, OK.”

L21 To Bottas: “So please let Lewis go.”
“Can you confirm? I just pulled the gap to him in the last lap.”

Bottas let Hamilton through twice
“OK Lewis so close up to Valtteri. He’s been given the message.”
Hamilton: “If he’s picked up his pace, he should be OK. If I can’t catch him, if I get past, I can’t catch up a little bit.”
Just let us know what tag we’re in.”
Hamilton: “Tag two.”

To Bottas: “And stay where you are.”

L22 To Bottas: “So just focussing on getting that gap to Vettel down. Surface overheating is minor at the moment. But pressure’s so much better than the first stint.”
To Bottas: “So we want you to use the tyres to close the gap to Vettel. Target lap is minus one.”

L23 To Vettel: “Brake shape zero, suggestion for locking, seems under control. Bottas is 2.8 behind, should try to open this gap. Keep your head down, you are doing well.”

L25 Alonso: “How they can’t overtake me I don’t know. I never raced with less power in my life.”

Mercedes later decided to swap the running order of their cars.

L27 “And please let Lewis through. Lewis has a five-second penalty.”
Bottas: “Copy. I’ll let him through.”
“So it’s important you stay close to Lewis, obviously.”
Bottas: “These rears are overheating. The soft will be better.”

L29 To Vettel: “Pull the red button. Keep your head down. This is an important phase of the race.”
L31 To Bottas: “Box, going to soft tyres, going to be tight on exit, need a good pit stop.”

L32 Raikkonen: “Check what happened into turn four, low speed, there’s something wrong”
“We see the issue Kimi, I’ll come back with any action”
Raikkonen: “Come on it’s really disturbing. Is [unclear] the normal position?”
“Confirm but this is not the issue. Driver default A five on should fix the issue.”
L33 Raikkonen: “Something [unclear] lap time on the straight. The issue is still there.”
“Understood Kimi, understood, we’re checking what’s going on.”

“Fernando we are considering plan B, how are the tyres?”
Alonso: “Do whatever you want, man.”

To Ricciardo: “Raikkonen’s just pitted, he’s on soft tyres. We’re going to go a little bit longer to get a bigger advantage.”

To Hamilton: “OK Lewis we have a five-second penalty. We will take it at the pit stop. We will need to overtake Valtteri on-track.”

After being let past by Bottas again Hamilton closed on Vettel but wasn’t able to catch the Ferrari.

To Bottas: “Don’t hold Lewis up. He is two seconds a lap quicker, pushing for the win. Please let Lewis go.”

L50 Hamilton: “Am I on the right trajectory?”
“Affirm Lewis, on the right trajectory, it’s all going to happen at the end.”

L53 To Vettel: “Safety Car window is closed.”
“Hamilton: “It’s too big a gap, right?”
“Yeah feels like it, Lewis.”

The full race radio transcript will be published later this week.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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...

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23 comments on “2017 Bahrain Grand Prix team radio highlights: Race”

  1. I’m almost 100% sure I heard Ricciardo confirm the question verbally during the broadcast.

    1. I don’t see why they’d want to hide the answer to that question, anyway. If anything, they’d want to make it public.

    2. Me too, he most definitely confirmed it

    3. Just realized I can rewatch it with my online subscription. The full exchange goes:
      PIT: “Look like Hamilton slowed down in the pitlane in front of you, can you confirm that?”
      RIC: “Yeah…. Confirm”
      PIT: “Ok mate, understood. We can see what he was trying to do”

  2. “Fernando we are considering plan B, how are the tyres?”
    Alonso: “Do whatever you want, man.”


  3. Alonso might be the best the paddock has ever seen, his mother should have a firm talk with him about his behaviour, geesh.

    1. FakeSamurai_Alonso
      18th April 2017, 9:05

      He himself declared Engine failure and Out. No words from Engineer or team.

    2. If they started giving points for the radio , Alonso would take all 25 ! @xtwl

  4. Bottas pole on Saturday cost Mercedes the win on Sunday.

    1. Yeap. And they took to long to invert the positions after the stops.

    2. Not sure what the hell are you talking about… Lewis was not able to get Pole that is true first of many more mistakes ….So one thing has nothing to do with the development of the race ….and with the other big penalty of 5 seconds….. . anyway in your in world could in mine. …is water under the River .

    3. Then Ham should have tried harder.. He was beaten straight and fair by Bottas in the same car.
      Bottas had the wrong side of the garage luck at merc.

    4. I think Lewis’s bad start cost him his victory…

    5. Mercedes crew ffffed Bottas up with those over pressurized tires !

      Starting to think that was deliberate !

  5. “Brake shape zero, suggestion for locking” What’s a brake shape? Are mapping presets allowed?

    1. It is either the brake bias setting or the brake balance is my guess.

      1. I haven’t ever heard a bias or balance called a shape before, it makes no sense. The only thing I can think of is the shape of a mapping.

        1. Sonnybobiche
          20th April 2017, 0:03

          Presumably it’s the shape of the force curve for the rear brakes, which are brake-by-wire.

  6. Ricciardo did confirm Hamilton held him up over the team radio.

    He said (If I remember correctly) “Yes… confirm.”

  7. I feel for BOT, whose race was compromised by issues beyond his control. He deserved a better shot at the win.

    Total shambles on the Merc pitwall. They lost face by reversing the order of their drivers with no points to be gained since it should have been plain that they couldn’t catch VET with used softs for HAM. They owe BOT a better explanation. Given the low risk of further points loss involved with only about 16 laps on his final stint, they should have bolted on the new supersofts HAM had available. HAM’s car did not have BOT’s handling issues and he would likely have eked out more pace. Even in the event the ploy failed, the minor podium places would not have come under threat. The fewer decisions are made by Wolff and HAM on race day and the quicker Allison actually begins to have a greater say, the better Merc will perform.

  8. Indeed Ricciardo said yes when asked the question by Horner.

    This new radio trascript format has potential, Kieth, but for now it is confusing because I it is hard to discern driver replies from engineer questions. If you did put who said what for each phrase it would be much clearer.

  9. Going on SS for the 2nd stint probably is what really ruined Bottas’s race, and going on softs and staying on them for the 3rd stint helped Hamilton quite a bit. I know the commentators were trying to build excitement with Lewis making a charge at the end, but it was never going to happen. But it made for good TV.

  10. When Seb’s calm on the radio during the race, he will win the race lol…hihihi…i think maybe this year he will not talk too much on the radio after what happen last year…they’ll fooling him with the radio messagges….go go Seb Gina…

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