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Mercedes sets Ferrari record: Hamilton's trembling victory

Mercedes sets Ferrari record
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D he would have fifth Mercedes constructors title in a row deserves a more dignified setting. But after the Brazilian GP, ​​everyone talked about the collision between Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon and the scuffle between the two hotheads in the Parc fermé.

So the historic achievement of Mercedes almost went under. The brand with the star has been the driver and constructor world champion without interruption since 2014. Only Ferrari and Michael Schumacher were able to do this between 2000 and 2004. At Mercedes, the drivers' titles were split between two drivers: four times Lewis Hamilton and one time Nico Rosberg. #

Mutual praise

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff knew who he was Owes title flood. His superstar Hamilton and a team that is perfectly filled in every position: 'We would not have become five times world champions without Lewis, and Lewis not without a great team behind him.' Hamilton returned the thanks. “It is an honor for me to be able to drive for this team. You give me the tool and I try to make the best of it. Sometimes a little more. But that's what I live for. ”The design engineer title was a matter close to his heart. “Lewis wasn't really happy about the drivers' championship in Mexico. He really wanted to win the title for the team, ”reported Wolff.

The Austrian couldn't believe what his team had finished on November 11th. “With the setting of the Ferrari record, we achieved something apparently unattainable. I am infinitely grateful that we were able to experience that. ”There is one little thing that Mercedes still has to do if you really want to be on a par with Ferrari. In addition, a constructors' trophy is needed in 2019. Ferrari had won the brand title in 1999, but lost the Drivers' Championship to Mika Häkkinen and McLaren.

First blisters in the back, then in the front

The Brazilian GP was that for Mercedes third race in a row with problems with the tires. Again, it had nothing to do with the difficulties in Austin and Mexico. “It was a third scenario,” explained the engineers. Toto Wolff made it clear: “It can assure you that not using the perforated spacers in the rims played no role. The reasons for this were too different. We just wanted to avoid weeks of legal battles in caseone protests. “

Mercedes won the Team World Cup in Brazil for the fifth time in a row.

In the first stint, the Mercedes drivers had to deal with hot spots on the rear tires. It was vaguely like Austin, but for other reasons. The drivers then changed their driving style and ran correspondingly harder on the front wheels. A series of bubbles formed in Hamilton's car. Clearly visible over the entire tread on the outer shoulder. But that did not slow Hamilton's racing pace. 'With bubbles in front you can drive with practically no loss of time,' confirmed the engineers. They also indicated that Hamilton held out 52 laps on the Medium set. Only one rode the medium rubber longer, and that was Sergey Sirotkin.

Hamilton engine shortly before collapse

Hamilton had completely different concerns. Shortly before the first pit stop, the engine technicians used the data to discover a serious problem with the engine. After a heated radio communication, Hamilton was asked to switch to a more moderate engine program. That's why he didn't stand a chance when Max Verstappen attacked in the 39th round. Verstappen hung the Mercedes before the finish line. Hamilton recalled: 'I spoke to my car and begged: Come on, hold on, just hold on.'

As the problems with the drive unit worsened, Hamilton had to repeat the performance in the last quarter of the race turn back dramatically. 'He lost around four tenths per lap because of the engine problems,' said Mercedes. Toto Wolff admitted: “We got the message that engine damage was imminent. The guys in the garage solved this problem, God knows how. ”Hamilton received instructions over the radio on how to turn which switches to get to the finish line.

But what really happened? The exhaust cracked and in no time at all the engine temperatures rose above 1000 degrees. 'I got the information from our engine experts that the engine would go up in the next lap,' remembers Wolff of the crucial minutes in the pits. Hamilton turned the power back so far thatthe temperatures dropped to 980 degrees. 'That was still too high,' said Wolff. 'But we survived lap after lap.'

Max Verstappen wasn't a direct opponent for the world champion. “Our job was to stay ahead of the Ferrari. That's why we didn't go after Max. For Lewis, it was all about getting his car to the finish on medium tires, ”admitted Wolff. Valtteri Bottas drove another unfortunate race. When Daniel Ricciardo ousted him from 4th place, Mercedes pitted him for a second stop. “The place was lost and we still had air on Vettel. Why risk something, especially in the event of a safety car. Valtteri's second movement would have held out to the end. ”


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