Mercedes says shared experiences like 2016 incident helps them to learn a lot on their reactions and management in situations like F1 Qatar GP.
It wasn’t the sight any F1 team wishes to see what Mercedes in Qatar GP on Lap 1 in Turn 1 when Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a collision which forced the former to retire, while the latter was left to pit and drop to last in the order.
The drivers blamed each other initially but Hamilton realised his mistake and apologised duly. The FIA stewards cleared the matter citing Lap 1 scenario, while Russell actually made a strong comeback to end up fourth in the order ahead of Ferrari.
With Toto Wolff not in the hot seat in Qatar, Mercedes had to handle to situation. Russell was concerned on the radio but was calmed down by his engineer and even Wolff via his communication channel that he has set up in his home in Monaco.
For Mercedes, there has been incidents but not that many in recent times at least. The last major one remains to be in 2016 when Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided not just in Barcelona but at few other events too to make it a heated rivalry.
For the team, those shared experiences does help them in managing situations better which is what happened in Qatar too. “I think experiences like 2016 and others that we’ve had over the years, there’s a great shared experience of how we approach those moments as a team and sort of learn from them and work through them as well,” said Mercedes communications head and representative Bradley Lord.
“So we have our racing intent, our shared document that we all buy into in terms of how we approach races as a team, how we’re going to try and maximise the team’s point-scoring. The drivers are bought into that along with everybody else. That’s really the basis for how we talk about things and move forward. There’s competitive tension between the two drivers but that is exactly what we want in the team to drive us forward.
“Their collaboration and actually how in sync they have been in developing the car and explaining the car’s limitations so that we can overcome them with development this year and then you know, the project for next year as well,” summed up Lord, who wants Mercedes to be in competitive situation where driver dynamics are tested and the team is challenged to handle it since it will mean, they are fighting for championship.
“I think if we found ourselves when we are in contention for race wins and championships then one of the privileges that comes with that is managing the competitive dynamics between drivers and we have been there before and ultimately we all have the goal, paradoxical it may sound in this context, being in that situation again, have those challenges in front of us,” said Lord.
Here’s FIA and drivers on extreme heat in Qatar GP
Here’s Mercedes trio on the Qatar GP incident
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