Racing Questions

By Harry Schofield

Lewis Hamilton took a sensational pole position for the Australian Grand Prix and was expected to carry on as he left last year in a demanding  race win after race win.

Sunday afternoon went horrible wrong for him, although second place was not to be laughed at, 20 seconds behind his team mate needs to be looked at in depth.  

Lewis Hamilton Pole postion was short lived as he came second nearly 20 seconds behind his team mate Valtteri Bottas

©Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

©Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

By Harry Schofield

Pre season testing showed that Ferrari certainly had the pace coming into the Austrailain Grand Prix weekend but failed to deliver the speed they showed in Barcelona.

Two factors to consider is that cataluyna circuit used for testing has been resurfaced and has a very different type of asphalt to the other tracks on the calendar.

Lap times from testing and aero performance data from here do not generally repeat itself throughout the year.

Austraila is not a “typical track” and what we have witnessed at the weekend is not a catalyst for the year to come.

Mercedes and Ferrari was quick but the real speed has come from Redbull, Honda engines very quick down the straight and with a good aero package which Redbull will continually update they will be very close.

Previous years Redbull have got the development of the car with upgraded aero packages late in the season and start fighting for wins, but this year the car seems ready to win from the start.

Looking at lewis Hamiltons car at the end of the race, it was clear he suffered damage to the rear floor and diffuser.

The part of the floor that was damaged was the lower duct, this directs the airflow from the tyre into the diffuser giving the maximum downforce.

The loss of downforce clearly affected Lewis pace and puts into question again how aero sensitive the Mercedes is.

If the duct is broken/damaged it will cause the car to be unstable, causing oversteer and premature tyre wear if not managed correctly, but this is what Lewis did, adapted to the situation didn't over do the lap times kept his tyres in the operating window and most importantly not allowing them to overheat .

This weekend we head to Bahrain, this track will give us a true performance of each team.

I suspect the Redbull and certainly the Alfa Romes’s will be In close contention.

The true gap between Mercedes and Ferrari will be known on Saturday afternoon in Qualifying.

Racing Questions

© Harry Schofield 2019