H iobsbotschaft for all Hamilton fans: after the bad luck with the strategy in Australia it doesn't look like a victory for the world champion in the second race in Bahrain either. Late on Friday evening, the Silberpfeil team announced an unscheduled gearbox change for the car with start number 44.
Because the gearbox has not yet completed the 6 races required by the regulations, it automatically imposes the mandatory penalty of five starting places. Even if Hamilton manages the best time in qualifying, he will only be in 6th position when the lights go out.
Transmission in Australia pre-damaged
According to information from Mercedes, it was damage from the race in Australia. In the middle of the race distance there had been hydraulic pressure dropouts. Two weeks ago, however, that had no impact on the racing performance or was even the reason for the poor pace in the final phase.
Mercedes had not on the radar that it could lead to damage. It was not until the routine check of the transmission in Bahrain that it was discovered that a bearing in the differential was damaged. With the part, Hamilton would not have survived the 57 laps in Bahrain. A failure would be inevitable.
The relocation also has an impact on the strategy. Because overtaking is difficult even in Bahrain, Mercedes will probably adjust their tactics. It is expected that Hamilton will try to get over the distance with just one stop in order to perhaps reach the podium.