Lewis Hamilton had a cracked seat in F1 Bahrain GP, as he and Toto Wolff talk about the issues Mercedes faced.

After a promising first two days in F1 Bahrain GP, Mercedes faltered on Sunday when they faced a problem which they didn’t face before. It was power unit related where not just the factory team, but also the Williams pair faced trouble too.

Hamilton started at the fag end of the Top 10 and readily faced battery issues. While managing it, he had a seat crack which added to his problems. Despite that he finished seventh after managing to pass McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

His teammate George Russell had his own power unit issues. He started off well but then lost out to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, but managed to keep Charles Leclerc behind, who himself was facing issues of his own.

Mercedes boss Wolff noted that the power unit issue was unexpected on their end which they and Williams faced. They had to lift and coast which limited their chances in the race. He thinks they can fix it up for Saudi Arabia, as he was not too worried about the seat.

Battery issue, broken seat –

Hamilton: “For a while like my battery was dead, so down the straights I was just derating the whole way down the straight. So I lost a lot of ground to the McLarens. I was fixing that out for some laps, and that took a good 10 laps, and I lost plenty of seconds through that. And then after that was just really trying to get back on it, and catch up, as soon we got that fixed. And then there was a bit of overheating of the brakes. And then in general, the performance was so-so. My seat started moving. Like it clicked, and my left side like dropped, and so then it was moving through the braking zones. Not great.”

Set-up correct or problems masked it –

Hamilton: “Too early to tell. The setup wasn’t ideal today. We’re very close to McLarens. But I think if I had qualified better, I would probably easily have finished fifth today even with the problems, so I think take that out of it, and I probably wouldn’t have been crazy far behind a Ferrari, but we’re still third quickest.”

Overheating issues –

Russell: “It was challenging. The engine was overheating after lap three. As soon as overtook Charles, I had big red alarms on the steering wheel , we had to turn the power down to stop engine overheating and cost us probably four tenths a lap. And by that point we just went backwards. So a real shame, we didn’t show the car’s true potential, so we need to understand how we got that one wrong.”

Set-up issues –

Russell: “It was just simply the body work was too tight. We need to understand why we got that wrong. I mean, it would only have been a small change, it probably wouldn’t have cost us hardly any laptime whatsoever. But we wouldn’t have faced these big problems. Maybe we were slightly too aggressive. I don’t know, conditions changed today. But we need to understand what went wrong.”

Unexpected engine issues –

Wolff: “Unfortunately, we had to start cooling the engine more than we expected, and we can’t understand yet where that came from. We had one of our customer teams, Williams had the same issue. The other two not. And that was unexpected. And from then on, if you switch three-four tenths of powerunit performance off, and then you have to lift and coast on top of that, I think, at times probably altogether it was five or six tenths of a second that we couldn’t take from what the car had in it. And therefore it just wasn’t great fun.”

Where issue came from –

Wolff: “No. I think even without traffic at the beginning we were already over the limit. We don’t know because we pretty much ran the same cooling levels on the long runs we did in the days before, and it just spiked more than we thought and I don’t believe that any other team opened the car more up than they did before. So I think there was probably more with us, I heard that Williams had the same issue so we need to look at it.”

Issue can be sorted –

Wolff: “I’m sure we can get on top of the cooling because it’s a specification of how much you open the car up. And it’s always a balancing act between do you want to lose half a tenth in performance by having less efficient aero and opening the slot gaps up against the cooling. But at times we were glitching not a few degrees, but 10-degrees, running over what we thought we should be.”

Broken seat of Hamilton –

Wolff: “I haven’t seen it yet. So when the seat cracks the driver obviously starts to have a little bit of movement and that’s certainly not good because you are fully strapped in and he shouldn’t move. But as I said, I haven’t talked to him. So can happen. It’s happened before.”

Here’s how F1 Bahrain GP panned out

Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact