S o it can be done quickly. The double strike at the Austrian GP. A week later in Silverstone the double zero. For Sauber, points were again within reach. But this time the confederates lost their luck. Charles Leclerc stumbled upon a problem that we saw earlier this year with the HaasF1 pilots in Melbourne and Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain. The right rear wheel was not properly locked during the pit stop.
It's always the same scenario that causes problems. The threads on the wheel hub and the wheel nut are so short and so coordinated that the mechanic has to put the wheel with the integrated wheel nut a quarter turn on the shaft. Otherwise it can happen that one thread presses into the other and seizes in the process.
No chance of correcting errors
At first glance, the man at the impact wrench has the feeling that everything is fine. Only when he pulls off the impact wrench does he notice that the wheel has play. But it's too late by then. There is no double protection for a process that takes less than 2.5 seconds.
Sauber has almost perfect this season Pit stops made. In Monaco, Canada and France, the mechanics from Hinwil were even the fastest in the field. That's why the pit crew is not being accused. “We made maybe 600 pit stops with all training sessions this year. That's 2,400 wheel changes. A total of three of them went wrong ”, team manager Beat Zehnder calculates.
The driver immediately noticed that something was wrong. If he couldn't have driven back slowly to the pits and then tightened the wheelto let? It was locked by the double safety system. 'If you do that,' explains Zehnder, 'you will first get a stop-and-go penalty and then you will go back 10 starting positions in the next race.'
Double bad luck with Sauber
Leclerc was seventh at the time of the pit stop. “We could have finished sixth. We would have gotten Hülkenberg with his hard tires, ”Zehnder is convinced.
With a bit of luck, Marcus Ericsson could have scored World Championship points. At first the Swede drove inconspicuously in the lower midfield, but thanks to his late pit stop, he was on a group that later scored points. But Ericsson said goodbye in a spectacular way.
He flew into the barriers on the 31st lap in the first corner at full speed. The impact delay was 24G. The same thing happened to Ericsson as Romain Grosjean did in Friday practice. The DRS was still activated when he turned in.
The driver stated that his finger had slipped off the DRS button. For FIA race director Charlie Whiting, the DRS accidents are no reason to abolish the first DRS zone in Silverstone. 'If the driver drives through the curve with the wing open, it's the same as if he brakes later or accelerates too early.'