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Mercedes got cooling configuration wrong in Bahrain

Mercedes got cooling configuration wrong in Bahrain

Mercedes got cooling configuration wrong in Bahrain

Mercedes failed to put any of their cars on the podium during the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, after a wrong cooling configuration compromised their pace.

George Russell managed to qualify third for the Bahrain GP, while Lewis Hamilton was down in ninth, and while the former had a decent start of his race, passing second-starting Charles Leclerc, he soon had to back off as his W15 started to overheat.

That meant the Russell – who also made a mistake while defending from Leclerc – dropped from the podium positions being passed the Monegasque’s teammate Carlos Sainz as well.

After finishing fifth, and speaking in Mercedes’ post race brief, Russell said: “It was a strange day today. Both Lewis and I faced a similar issue.

“The power unit was overheating from very early on, so we were managing that throughout. It was a shame as we made a really good start. I managed to make a good pass on Leclerc for second but very quickly, I had warnings on my steering wheel.

“To manage the overheating, we were losing tenths-of-a-second per lap, and it was very difficult to hold off anyone behind me. It’s a shame that we didn’t get to show any real potential of the car,” the Briton lamented.

However the problem that ruined Mercedes’ first race of 2024 appears to be a one-time thing, as Russell explained: “Thankfully, it’s not an issue we need to be concerned about. We got the cooling configuration wrong.

“We just need to understand why, and make sure we don’t do that again. It was simply an incorrect decision; we’ve got plenty of margin to cool the power unit more. I think without the issue we would have been in the fight for P3.

“It’s only the first race of the season so let’s see what we can do next week,” the 26-year-old concluded.

Hamilton: We hoped that it would be a better evening

In the #44 Mercedes, seven-time Formula 1 Champion, Hamilton had an anonymous race finishing seventh, he added: “It was a tough race today.

“For sure there is some disappointment within the team as we hoped that it would be a better evening. We were close with several other cars and the degradation was high. The issues we faced obviously cost us some pace so that was frustrating,” he explained.

Hamilton however admitted his subpar qualifying did not help his race, he said: “Ultimately if I had qualified better, naturally I would have been a good couple of places further ahead as my last stint was good.

“Today was about discovery and we found out a lot about the car. There’s plenty of areas we can improve on and I’m sure we will as a team,” the winner of 103 grands prix concluded.

Toto Wolff, Merecedes’ Team Principal & CEO, summed up his team’s first F1 race in 2024, he said: “We got the cooling level wrong today and that cost us.

“To manage the issue, we had to do a lot more lift and coast and you then lose performance with the tyres. It’s a vicious circle. We need to look at what we did wrong as we gave the drivers a car that was not competitive enough today.

“I’m keen to look at the data to make sure we don’t face similar changes in Saudi Arabia,” the Austrian concluded.