Lewis Hamilton revealed how a set-up change on his Mercedes caused a handling imbalance which led to his repeated track limits violations early in the Austrian Grand Prix.
“We took out a lot of front wing,” said Hamilton in response to a question from RaceFans. “We knew we had a really bad rear end here so we took out a lot of front wing to try and keep that balance so that we could do a long run, go long.
“And we massively under-egged it. I was, like, almost full lock around the last two corners. Going into turn 10, it was just sliding and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
The team adjusted his front wing setting at his first set-up which improved the balance of his car. “Through the stops we then added a lot of wing,” he said. “The car started to slowly come back to at least getting around and staying on-track.”
The majority of drivers were given warnings for exceeding track limits during the race. Hamilton said changes are needed at the Red Bull Ring to prevent so many penalties occuring.
“I think they need to probably find a new solution for this track,” he said. “Years ago when we didn’t have track limits thing the track was much more enjoyable to drive.
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“It’s strange to be driving and have to have to almost comment on the car ahead because that’s what the team have asked you to do. I think they did it in Austin a couple of years ago. That’s not racing, right.”
After he began to receive warnings, Hamilton reported many of his rivals for going too far off-track, including Lando Norris.
“He was going off so much, it was insane,” said Hamilton. “As soon as he got past me he went off like at least 10 times and so did Perez. Perez would go off turn nine, turn 10 and he didn’t get a penalty. So obviously they should just be able to go off and none of us get a penalty.”
Hamilton’s messages about track limits became so insistent that team principal Toto Wolff spoke to him twice on the radio.
Selected radio messages between Hamilton and his team
|Bonnington||Track limits, exit turn 10.|
|Bonnington||And we now have two tracks limits for exit of turn 10.|
|Bonnington||Okay Lewis we’ll get a penalty. Next track limit will be penalty.|
|Hamilton||Just have a look at those because some of those are bullshit calls.|
|Hamilton||Where am I losing time mostly?|
|Bonnington||Start 13 when you can.|
|Bonnington||To Norris it was mainly the DRS gain that he had.|
|Bonnington||Sainz now the car behind 1.4.|
|Bonnington||Lewis we have a five-second time penalty for track limits so got to keep it clean from now on.|
|Hamilton||Yeah okay mate.|
|Hamilton||Where was that track limit?|
|Bonnington||They’re all at turn 10, all at turn 10 from what I see.|
|Hamilton||Guy ahead just went off at turn 10.|
|Bonnington||Copy, it’s Perez.|
|Hamilton||They can brake so much later than me.|
|Hamilton||Sainz went off in turn seven, also, mate.|
|Hamilton||Perez completely off at turn nine.|
|Hamilton||Perez completely off at turn 10. Has he got a penalty yet?|
|Hamilton||This guy’s been off every single time. Turn 10, again.|
|Bonnington||It looks like they’re at least 10 laps behind dishing out these penalties. Sainz has one now.|
|Hamilton||Has Perez got a penalty yet?|
|Hamilton||That’s Lando off, nine and 10.|
|Hamilton||Norris off again turn 10 mate.|
|Hamilton||Has anyone else got a penalty?|
|Wolff||Lewis, they’re all going to get penalties in front of you. Keep going.|
|Hamilton||I’ve seen that car [Norris] make turn one once.|
|Hamilton||Is there a reason why the stewards haven’t given those penalties yet?|
|Bonnington||They are still dishing out warnings and penalties.|
|Wolff||Lewis the car is bad, we know. Please drive it.|
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