Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

“Reliability is so important” Hamilton tells team as Red Bull stoppages hand him podium

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton thanked his team for the reliability of his car after taking an unexpected podium finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix when both Red Bull drivers retired.

The Mercedes driver was on course for fifth place for much of the race until Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez encountered problems in the final laps. Verstappen pulled into the pits with three laps to go after slowing, while Perez’s car spun to a stop at turn one on the final lap, its engine having seized.

Hamilton was the first driver to pass the stationary Red Bull on his way to third place behind the Ferrari drivers.

“Mega, mega job,” he told his team on the radio. “Thank you so much for the hard work. Reliability is so important, appreciate it.”

Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington told him: “We think Verstappen had an issue with the ERS system. Perez, not sure what happened to them.”

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said the Red Bull drivers had been unlucky to encounter problems so close to the end of the grand prix.

“It was such a difficult race,” he said. “We’ve struggled throughout practice. This is really the best result we could have got.

“Of course, it was unfortunate for the other two drivers, but we did the best we could and we’re grateful for these points.”

Mercedes began the weekend on the back foot, struggling for pace in qualifying. Hamilton qualified fifth, but was over six-tenths of a second off the pace, and never looked a contender for a podium finish until the final laps.

Hamilton said improvements to the car will not arrive immediately. “I know the guys are working really hard back at the factory and it’s not going to be a quick turnaround,” he said. “But we all know as a team I do feel like we’ve been the best unified team for so long. I know that we all know that.

“Just keep your head down, keep working. It’s a long, long way to go.”

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2022 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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68 comments on ““Reliability is so important” Hamilton tells team as Red Bull stoppages hand him podium”

  1. The Ferrari engine looks to have made a massive jump in performance, I was worried they would be fragile but RB beat them to it.

    1. @stjs16 so much talk about ferrari power and during the race the Honda powered cars showed they are massively ahead of everyone else.
      The change on fuel had drastic effects on the power fight. From merc being 2 steps ahead of Honda and a further step ahead of ferrari to now having mercedes as the clear slowest with Honda the clear strongest.
      The merc car looks like it has great potential, the PU is 100% letting it down, the power and driveability are seriously lacking.
      I felt things were like last season I didn’t predict their problem was the PU. I can see Merc quite quickly turning things round and RB is going to deeply regret the double dnf

      1. The problems with the Mercs and the Aston Martin is with air underneath the car and has more to do with the floor than the PU. Mclaren has issues with their brake system. I have no idea how well or bad the PU is as no Merc team has really pushed it as each team using the PU had other issues. Regarding Mercs alone, I’m guessing the porpoising is costing them alone about half a second, maybe more.

        1. @rob8k speedtrap figures of merc cars and Hamilton losing ground even with slipstreaming is quite the tell tale.

          1. Still not necessarily just a PU issue. Latifi managed 319.4 through the speed trap and Schumacher was top Ferrari with 318.4. Maybe Merc engines are struggling compared to rivals but the main issues are elsewhere.

      2. @peartree The Merc engined teams were slower (could be the engine). And I agree the Merc concept appears brilliant and should be fast with some tweeks.

      3. MB engine clearly struggles to cope with the new eco fuel resulting in horsepower loss. Fezza “super fast (and furious 😂)” engine was studied since 5 years ago with the new fuel rule written and never tuned yet on maximum step, say 75-80%. They first abandoned that technology in favour to the simpler fuel trick than they was obliged to resume the project and improve. RB pu was tuned at 100% for victory looking apparently the best but loosing reliability. Dr. Marko would better let handle engines to whom used to build and know the technology.

    2. In formula one, to reach the finish..*dramatic pause* … the car needs to complete every Single lap.

  2. Indeed. I’d laugh if RBR loses championship chances over reliability.

      1. For what? When did they win a title due to reliability issues? Not even in the vettel era, there was the 2012 mclaren maybe, but that’s 10 years ago.

  3. Have the dumb fans got the answer that Mercedes were not sandbagging and they are almost 1 second off the pace. They were telling the truth about their pace and after pre-season testing it was clear to intelligent fans that Ferrari and Redbull are Top 2. Mercedes a distant 3rd. That proved to the case.

    Now if Mercedes and Lewis turn this around later in the season and get back in the championship fight, will they get any credit? or will we still hear, Mercedes were the most dominant team of the season, Mercedes were hiding pace on purpose….blah blah.

    1. Crickets!! 😂😂😂

    2. @AMG44 I for one had my doubts, but I would put that down to Merc having cried wolf for so long that few seemed ready to believe they had real issues. Also their ability to find a ‘magic six-tenths’ between testing and Race 1 in both 2019 and 2021 meant that a lot of us felt their sheer pedigree would carry them through.

    3. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      20th March 2022, 17:38

      Dumb fans!You got that right

    4. @amg44 when merc wins the champ again we’ll talk. The dumb fans didn’t expect Merc to be 1s behind because of the AMG.

    5. No, this is all part of Mercedes’ Cunning Plan, which may resemble a weasel in it’s cunningness, to make everyone think that their new aero concept isn’t working, to prevent it from being outlawed (even though it’s totally legal).

      I understand they’re planning to lose both championships this year, just to make sure they don’t have any problems.

      It’s possible I’m being highly sarcastic.

    6. @amg44 I don’t think this is very different to some of the other slow starts Mercedes have had during the turbo/hybrid era – often they take a few races to extract the most from their car, which gives the impression that things are closer than they really are. For example you will still find people who swear blind that Mercedes wasn’t the fastest car in 2017/18, which I usually assume means they stopped watching after the first few races.

      Mercedes have again turned up with a radical car concept and will clearly take a little bit of time to get it dialled in, but I’d be surprised if they’re not comfortably the fastest by the summer break at the latest. They have a bit more ground to make up this time than (say) last year, but they’ll surely do just that.

    7. I have no doubt they’ll turn it around quite fast, but yes, obviously they wouldn’t sandbag during quali and race one, I think they’re still in with a chance for the title, especially since the red bull reliability issues advantaged mercedes more than anyone else points wise.

  4. Wouldn’t surprise me if Red Bull saw the same issue with Perez and decided to use him as a Guinea Pig to test how far the engine can go before detonating while sparing Max from a penalty. Shades of Mercedes with Bottas last year. It’s a shame they don’t get along for how much they have in common.

    1. It takes one to know one. You are projecting the bottas / Mercedes treatment to the wrong team.
      Funny still :)

      1. I can understand Max fans but to be a Red Bull fan at this point is amazing. They are the worst.

        1. Don’t see how they can be the worse, they finally caused mercedes to lose 1 title last year and brought a competitive car this year, the worst would be mercedes, who constantly come up with the best car over a season, never once they have the 2nd.

          Now this year might be an exception as they started from 3rd, but I wouldn’t underestimate them, plus they always talk themselves down, while red bull are more truthful.

          1. worst*

      2. Imagine standing up for RB and Karen. Life must be tough.

      3. This is literally the team that told their second driver to hold up the championship rival of their main driver. You can’t be this dense surely.

        1. “dense surely” man come on dont insult real dense people :) this guy is completely blank in his cavity on his skull. no matter what you say he will think you are complementing him and will thank you :)

  5. In order to finish first, you must first finish.
    Enzo Ferrari.

    1. Or Stirling Moss.
      Well, a lot of people in F1 must have used this quote :p

  6. Once again, Lewis Hamilton had luck.
    The Safety Car
    And RBR retires.

    Without it, it would have finish 5th with 40s behind.

    Not bad for him

    Happy for Ferrari.
    Finally, they made it :)

    Haas, great job ;)

    McLaren, ouch ….
    Must be painfull for the team, i feel for them.

    1. Yep, so lucky. He even got 7 WDCs cause of his luck.

      1. Nope, apart from one, that was the car :)

        1. What a happy when the fake champ car gave up.

          1. Yep. Fake champ indeed. Massi should not have let Horner influence him in the deciding race last year. I still haven’t got over the arrogance of both Horner and Verstappen. Like a couple of spoilt brats. The report states that there was human error!!!! Speaks volumes!!

          2. Probably the most deserving champion of the last few years actually, considering there was serious competition.

        2. Name a champion of recent, that had any contest from their teammate. It is always the car. But some also need a clear number 2.

    2. Technically 5th-12th had the same luck as each other, and having no safety car would have resulted in the same result. I think someone may have an agenda!!

    3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      20th March 2022, 18:04

      Going slow behind the safety car probably kept the engine alive for a bit longer.

      1. Actually i think after the engine brake issues they manifested over the race, the safety car may have cooked some engine part due to lack of air speed to cool it.

    4. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

    5. Such saltiness. How about everyone else behind Lewis that got bumped up as well?

    6. Sad. I feel bad for you.

    7. what an unlucky guy is ham… no matter what he does to win, always attributed to car or luck… 7 wdc won and 1 stolen, he is lucky… 100+ wins/poles/podiums lucky… when he doesnt get to see checkered flag, he is just bad, never luck!

      what an actual luck mclaren had dumping honda, for it to go to redbul at the right time… but that must have been a calculated decision by horner/marko/max trio. coz these guys know what they are doing…
      hamilton? nah, he just toss coin to see if he s gonna win or not, probably he is cheating with his coin to win most of the time…
      redbul/max nah they are just too good to be called lucky… like they calculated the possibility of a crash and agreed with masi before hand to have a human error to turn a 100% lost race into a glorious win :)

      1. 2021 stolen but not 2016? Some logic there.

  7. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    20th March 2022, 18:05

    If we get a similar race result next week surely Charles is only winning because of his car!!

    1. Charles of course won cause of his driving today.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        20th March 2022, 18:36

        Indeed he did.

    2. And I’am waiting for all the TV pundits having to pivot from “Max and Lewis, the two best drivers in the world fighting for the championship” to… “Charles and Carlos, the two best drivers in the world fighting for the championship” ;-)

  8. I guess its d car that made Lewis get a podium

    1. No, dumb luck (again)

      1. Oh right. So not karma then?

    2. Yes, the Red Bull car :-)

      1. Ahah, that’s a good one indeed.

  9. A number of people here were commenting about how they wanted the cameras trained on Toto when Bottas sails past Lewis at turn one. Now I’m wondering whether whether there were any cameras on the RB pit wall at the end of the race?

    1. Well at least we could listen to Hamilton whinging all race about his team. Oh sorry, it was the other driver doing that wasn’t it?

      Just wondering how long before Horner blames the issue on a a non-RB part. 24 hours?

      1. Don’t, they’re adding layers of foil to their hats as we speak.

      2. ian dearing

        horner or max already said it was simply fuel pump issue :) how funny would it be… if it turns out that they run out of fuel actually? i wonder if they would get a penalty for this next race if that is the case? underfuelling? not providing enough sample for test at the end of the race. at least pierre has an excuse about it :) they made sure he didnt finish by igniting it, and tsu probably wasnt allowed to run fast hence no fuel pump issue… all three cars’ steering were completely went offline… sounds strange if running out of fuel would be the issue… or possibly they are running the fuel pump (banned ferrari-esque style) to get more fuel which went kaboom or used more than they expected.

        1. The lack of Power steering i would aim for the hydrolics but i am no F1 enigine engineer so we have to wait on the info.

      3. also i do hope this gets inspected thoroughly by FIA too before handing over the cars to redbul

  10. Missed watching the race live, but caught the highlights on social media. There seemed to be a LOT of moaning and cursing from MV, maybe that was just the editing. Bad reliability there – 3 RB/Honda powered cars out.
    So it now seems clear that SF and RB are a lot faster than MB and the field. Oddly, just as MB said – it’s just as if they were being honest – who would have thunk it?
    I think MB are slow because they are generating downforce in a ‘draggy’ way, by using the front and rear wings, not the (currently aerodynamically unstable) floor, which they have “turned down” for now.
    Other Merc engined teams had other issues, so I don’t think the engine is off the pace too badly.
    When MB figure it out, I think they will be at the front again.

    1. I think MB are slow because they are generating downforce in a ‘draggy’ way, by using the front and rear wings, not the (currently aerodynamically unstable) floor, which they have “turned down” for now.

      This! I believe this is the issue too. MB’ss front wing looks most similar to the 2021-spec wing (large angled elements to generate downforce).

    2. @biker56

      Toto did say they had maybe chosen the wrong wing levels for this race. I mean Hamilton could even close Perez when he was suffering from the issue and Sainz too. They have had this before really. In 2019, they had a car that had the best engine, not Ferrari, but their chassis was too draggy and had the best downforce of the field. Drag also affects acceleration.

  11. Mercedes has the slowest pit crew of all teams. They are 1 second slower or 30%. Same as previous years.

    1. Yep, their performance was underwhelming compared to others. After HAMs 1st stop I thought the 3.x was quite ok, due to the tires. But the other teams showed whats possible.

  12. Leclerc racecraft masterclass today, took Max to school and back!
    Reminded me of Ham vs Rosberg

    1. +1 Yes, I spotted that too. Always liked CL’s racecraft, maybe he has the car now.
      Grand Slam for him too – Pole, led every lap (at the start/finish line), fastest lap. Verrry Niiiice!!

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