F1 news LIVE: Mercedes explain Lewis Hamilton’s radio message as Sebastian Vettel urged to retire



Hamilton Admits To Struggling Mentally

Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as the fallout continues from another chaotic race in Melbourne, before heading to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Mercedes have moved to back Lewis Hamilton’s claim that his mysterious radio message during the Australian Grand Prix was not directed at his teammate George Russell. Hamilton could be heard telling his team: “You guys put me in a really difficult position,” which was interpreted by many to be because he was stuck behind Russell on track. However, Hamilton claims it was because his engine was overheating and Mercedes added that Hamilton’s complaints were about engine cooling, not about battling his teammate.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Max Verstappen has followed up his comments suggesting there are “two or three” problems for the new Red Bull car by acknowledging he had a “terrible race” in Melbourne, where he couldn’t find the pace to keep up with the leaders and ended up failing to complete the day for the second time in three races this season. He has also been warned about going “over the limit” by team advisor Helmut Marko, who wants more calmness from the driver. With Ferrari going clear at the top thanks to another Charles Leclerc win, there’s also talk about Carlos Sainz being reduced to a support driver for the team.

Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.

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Mercedes back Hamilton’s explanation for mysterious radio message

Mercedes have moved to back Lewis Hamilton’s claim that his mysterious radio message during the Australian Grand Prix was not directed at his teammate George Russell. Hamilton could be heard telling his team: “You guys put me in a really difficult position,” which was interpreted by many to be because he was stuck behind Russell on track.

However, Hamilton claims it was because his engine was overheating and Mercedes added that Hamilton’s complaints were about engine cooling, not about battling his teammate.

“I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating. So I had to back off, just had to sit behind,” Hamilton said afterwards.

James Vowles, Mercedes’ motorsport strategy director, added: “That was all about engine cooling and keeping the PU [power unit] cool during the course of the race. We push everything to the limit, as you would imagine, and one of those is engine cooling, and you do that by closing up the bodywork or changing the louvre design at the back of the car.

“That decision is made on Saturday but obviously we were racing on Sunday, 24 hours later, and in this particular circumstance the ambient was one, maybe two degrees warmer than we had expected.

“As a result of that, ourselves, and not just ourselves, you would have heard it from teams up and down the grid, were right on the limit of what the engine and the PU can take in terms of cooling requirements.

“During the course of the race, when you are following a car it meant Lewis had to compromise what he was doing. He had to move out of the dirty air of the car in front of him and make sure he got cool, clean air through the radiators to drop the PU temperatures down.

“But doing that makes racing the car in front incredibly difficult and that’s why his message came out.”

Lewis Hamilton on track in Melbourne

(AFP via Getty Images)

Lawrence Ostlere14 April 2022 10:14


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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