Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2022

Drinks failure caused Hamilton to lose “around 3kg” in hot French Grand Prix

2022 French Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton‘s drinks bottle system failed during a French Grand Prix that was among one of the hottest races of the season.

Mercedes scored a double podium in the race at Paul Ricard, with Hamilton having claimed third place off the start line, overtaking Sergio Perez. He improved to second following Charles Leclerc’s retirement and team mate George Russell claimed third place after the Virtual Safety Car restart on lap 50.

Much of Hamilton’s race was relatively lonely, running ten seconds behind Max Verstappen after the Safety Car and with Perez unable to catch back up to him. However, Hamilton said that it had been a physically gruelling 53 laps under the intense sun in southern France.

“It was a tough race because my drinks bottle didn’t work,” Hamilton explained. “What a great result, considering we’ve been so far off these guys all weekend.

“Reliability is one thing that my team’s been amazing at so huge congratulations to the teams back at the two factories, the team here who without them we couldn’t get this podium and George did an amazing job today as well.”

Hamilton, who looked visibly exhausted and briefly laid down on the floor of the cooldown room before the podium celebrations, said that he had likely lost significant levels of fluid due to the heat inside the car.

“I didn’t see my weight just now, but I would imagine probably around three kilos [lost],” he estimated. “So, yeah, it’s enough. I’m looking forward to downing the rest of this drink.”

Ambient temperature sat at 30C during the grand prix, with track temperatures in the mid 50Cs and steadily rising during the race. Hamilton’s team mate Russell also admitted that he had struggled physically with the demands of the conditions, saying he was “absolutely sweating,” immediately following the race.

“I’m a bit knackered now, it was a long race, a tough race,” Russell said.

“The pace was strong but we really struggled with the warmup on that restart and Checo was all over me. But I was glad to see that chequered flag and come home P3.”

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2022 French Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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17 comments on “Drinks failure caused Hamilton to lose “around 3kg” in hot French Grand Prix”

  1. Yeah you could see in the cool down area, the race had taken it out of the ‘old man’. Ham did the sensible thing by just laying there. took the strain off his heart, allowed himself to center before the podium celebrations.

  2. Mercedes have a very strange car. It takes laps and laps to get up to speed and when it does the others are far ahead and they manage to have a comparable pace.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      24th July 2022, 18:27

      Well, considering they weren’t up to speed at any point in the early season, they’re making progress

  3. 3kg lighter should mean half a second faster no?

    1. A little bit more tan half a second faster actually?
      Is it why he came 2nd and got his 3 rd consecutive podium this season?
      Or is it fouth consecutive podium for Lewis 2022?
      3rd in Silverstone ,3rd in canada?3rd in red bull ring 2nd in France.???
      If he keeps this trend ,he may just hit 1st in Hungary in a few days time?
      Not bad for a finished (ONLY 7 times world champion }in a medium car but improving?
      Whatever world champion means?
      Vettel 4 Times champion?
      Alonso 2 times champion?
      Max 1 time champion??
      Oh ,I almost forgot?LEWIS 7 times champion ?Only?

    2. No, because the water was in the bottle instead of in the driver. In fact all the drivers would have lost several kilos during the race, but a lot of that water ends up as sweat in the lining of the race suit, (gross, I know), but it still gets dragged around in the car.

  4. This seems like its word for word of the Sky Sports F1 interview – is that whats being reported here?

  5. So the fact Lewis and the car never came in under weight tells us that the car is at least 3kgs fat, still.

    Which doesn’t explain the 30sec+ gap they would have had to the front in an uninterrupted race between Max and Charles, so until they admit their problems they’re going to have to be content with picking up scraps.

    1. I guess,if collecting 4 consecutive podiums in a slow year with an 8 times world consecutive champion team is scrap.
      After dominating 8 consecutive years and having your staff decimated by Red bull hiring them away,it is only normal to lose some superb?

    2. Well lets just wait and see when this period with the flexi floor ends…

      1. Flexi-floors … you mean the cars who were allowed stays to stop their floors flexing after another last minute pre-season rules change to help them?

        Ironically though, any other form of flexing by “other” teams is suddenly deemed illegal mid season, even though the wording of the original rules doesn’t prevent it, and even though those cars pass every FIA test to measure flexing.

        No double standards here … none at all.

    3. Dale, Hamilton may have lost more weight than normal during the race, but the fluid remained in the drinks bottle so the car didn’t lose the normal amount of weight during the race. i,e, one mostly cancels out the other. However, I don’t think it would have made much difference anyway. I’m sure I read that all the cars this year are well over the minimum weight limit, even though the minimum was increased this year.

      1. What does my comment say about the car being overweight … yet you go off trying to mansplain the obvious, which has nothing to do with fact the Merc was miles behind the Red Bull in normal conditions.

  6. Dale, why the aggression?

    “What does my comment say about the car being overweight”

    In your original post you said

    “So the fact Lewis and the car never came in under weight tells us that the car is at least 3kgs fat, still.”

    That sounds to me like you are saying, in relation to a story about Hamilton losing 3Kg during the race, that they could therefore afford to remove 3Kg of weight from the car and still meet the minimum weight requirement. That is an incorrect deduction. I assumed that you were an F1 fan and would therefore be interested to know that none of the current cars are running close to the minimum weight anyway. Obviously my assumption was wrong as well.

    Since the article was about the heat exhaustion suffered by the drivers, I’m not really sure why I am required to comment on performance gaps of the cars. Since you didn’t explain how you came up with your 30+ second figure, I’m not really sure what useful comment anyone could make about your assertion.

    1. @AlanD I wouldn’t bother; Dale has a long history for taking any aggressive opportunity to post shade on Hamilton as a driver and MB whether it makes sense or not; usually not.
      Sadly, he’s more about posting hate than anything else. He doesn’t care about MB weight or lap times. We need less of this in the sport and from fans.

      It was an interesting race that I doubt anyone could have predicted. Ferrari for sure looked faster than RB in the race and had a solid opportunity for Leclerc to win but had a failure to execute (again), Sainz did do well to get through the pack and score decent points considering he started in 19th. MB solidified their 3rd place in the WCC and only 44pts away from 2nd overall. Ferrari needs to do better to keep 2nd but appears likely RB will win their first WDC in ten years and Ferrari will be 2nd.

  7. I see this place is just the same as any other forum. Just bickering.

  8. I lose 3-4 lbs on a long bike ride in high temps. While drinking water. I’m not a world class athlete. He’ll be fine.

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