Posted on February 6, 2013
XPB.cc

The troubled start to Mercedes’ testing season continued on Day 2 in Jerez, as new recruit Lewis Hamilton crashed in the F1W04 after just 15 laps in the car in the morning session, due to a brake problem.

The team was unable to get the car back out on track before the end of the day.

Mercedes issued a Tweet saying, “Lewis suffered a loss of rear brake pressure, the front brakes enabled him to slow the car but he couldn’t avoid the barrier. We have traced the problem to the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right-rear calliper.”

This follows a fire on the car yesterday caused by an electrical fault, which cut short Nico Rosberg’s test day. The Mercedes has completed just 29 laps so far, at the time of writing, compared to 127 for Force India.

However, the first tests are typically for sorting out niggles and reliability issues on the car and it’s not uncommon for the first test to be punctuated by red flag stoppages for accidents and break downs. Yesterday Marussia’s Max Chilton went off when something broke in the rear suspension.

It gets more serious if teams lose time in the second and particularly the third tests. Damaging a front wing in the final test is a real setback, for example, as there isn’t much time to make new ones before the freight leaves for Melbourne. So teams sometimes find themselves short of key spare parts at the first race if they’ve had a crash in the final test.

The BBC’s Garry Anderson witnessed Hamilton’s incident and reported on BBC Sport website, “Hamilton locked his brakes going into the hairpin and went across the gravel trap and into the tyre barrier. The car has front wing and front suspension damage.”

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Hamilton crashes Mercedes after 15 laps, rear brakes at fault
158 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Martino Lopez
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 11:43 am 

    Oh deer.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Congratulations on your headline, by the way, James. Every other site I have looked at has run with a headline something like ‘Hamilton crashes out of test’ without any mention (until you read the article) of the break fault – obviously sensationalist headlines to get readers. Good to see an honest headline here as usual. Little things, I know, but it’s the little things that often tell the bigger story about a jouno’s quality.

    [Reply]

    Simmo Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    Phil Too Reply:

    So Hamilton didn’t crash? Those headlines are wrong?

    [Reply]

    I will Reply:

    -1

    Chromatic Reply:

    No ‘brake fault’ on Nico’s car !

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: BMS1
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 11:46 am 

    I see journalists are already jumping all over this…

    It was caused by a loss of rear brake pressure – as confirmed by Mercedes.

    [Reply]

    Simmo Reply:

    And mentioned by James in the article.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: DB
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 11:52 am 

    What a start for Mercedes!

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    A nightmare.

    Unbelievable.

    I hope this is not an indication of the luck they will have

    [Reply]

    JeremySmith Reply:

    This is what testing is all about..

    I would hardly call it a nightmare..

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    I saw the video. I have to say, it perhaps looked avoidable on the video if he turned right and stayed on the tarmac. It wasn’t a shart right.

    Reminded me a bit of Schumi and GRO in Singapore.

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    I guess Hamilton is a better driver and in a better position to assess what he could’ve done in the car to save it?

    [Reply]

    For sure Reply:

    Hamilton is better than Schumi?

    Sebee Reply:

    I know. It is easy to be an arm chair pilot.

    James said in the day summary he was at the end of a DRS zone, so going way fast. But on the video that soft right hander looks inviting to me.

    Sebee Reply:

    That “soft right hander” looking thing I thought I saw is actually a hair pin!

    I guess HAM didn’t have a chance after all out of that DRS zone.

    Kay Reply:

    For sure, I was actually referring to the Sabee’s “it perhaps looked avoidable on the video if he turned right and stayed on the tarmac.”

    Hamilton would know better how to steer the car than the poster. Wasn’t referring to Schmacher.

    NJ Reply:

    Schumi’s description of the accident was nearly identical. He went for the brakes and the pedal just dipped and got stuck.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Ok, I’m going to come down on the side of ‘this is what these tests are for – to sort out these niggles’ – I have to because if the Merc turns out to be a dog or unreliable I might just throw a wobbly. F1 needs it’s top drivers to be at least semi competitive – it’s good for the sport whether you like HAM or not.

    *Crosses fingers.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Wayne,

    I’m crossing fingers for you too! Can’t have you on blood pressure meds all of 2013.

    [Reply]

    NJ Reply:

    Schumacher fans said it for 3 years.
    Now it’s the turn of Hamilton fans.

    [Reply]

    Joel Reply:

    Looks like a lemon to me.

    Aren’t these the basic fundamentals of a car that usually shouldn’t break in a car’s first outing? If these parts can’t handle 15 laps, how can they run a 60 long laps @ qualifying speed?

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    After all the failures Schumacher had on that side of the garage last year, I hoped Mercedes might up their ‘quality control’ a little bit – but so far it’s not so great.

    Given McLaren’s failure was due to a Mercedes part, that’s got to be a bit worrying somewhere.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Formule 1
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:02 pm 

    They are not the best team in the F1

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Cos
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:03 pm 

    Guess after 15 laps he was pushing. He was up to second fastest which doesn’t really say much but the fact he was at that position just before crashing and the fact he locked up shows at least he’s trying to get a feel for the limits of this car.

    Hopefully it’s just a case of brake balance or something like that, and nothing more.

    [Reply]

    TimF Reply:

    Did you even read the original article?

    [Reply]

    Richard Foster Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    Simmo Reply:

    Or even the title

    [Reply]

    WiLL Reply:

    yes please read the article before commenting plz

    [Reply]

    Cos Reply:

    Thank you for highlighting my error without knowing the full story. I actually wrote this original comment as soon as I had just read he had crashed out after locking the brakes. There was no other information provided.

    Further details about what happened only came out later by which time it was too late to retract my post.

    Or do you suggest I keep amending my posts as and when new information becomes available?

    [Reply]

    Cos Reply:

    continuing from my post above, in the original note there was no tweet from Mercedes just reference from Gary Anderson about LH locking up and going straight off.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: John
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm 

    Allen what do you expect from Mercedes this season? Podium? Wins?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, both. Not to fight for championship, but I reckon LH will probably win a race before the end of the year

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    Sorry James but I see a deja vu of last year.An early win like in China and later on they will fade away. Simple, later this year most of the teams will be focused in the 2014 season. Only those fighting for the championship will be updating their cars.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I’m not sure.

    They will definitely be the first of big guns to commit to 2014 car, but it depends a bit on how much they have closed up when we see quail in Malaysia in particular (Melbourne often gives a strange reading due to its unique nature)

    Richard Reply:

    It’s all too premature to say anything yet, but I suspect they have made the step forward Ross talked about. They have had a couple of minor setbacks, but that’s F1 and can happen to anyone. They are not currently using the proper frong wing that goes with the car’s aerodynamic design. That all said I feel they do need to make another step improvement to get to the front, and I suspect McLaren may well be already there.

    Bloke Reply:

    I can see the Merc team imploding in fairly short order. Lauda doesnt have a good track record at all in this regard, and can be a very contentious individual. Im really not convinced that Toto will be a steady, reasonable hand at the helm either. I predict major political infighting.

    I also detect that Merc are starting to line up their exit strategy, selling the team to a group led by Toto. Lots of noises about investors etc already starting, and some very clear signals that suggest Brawn is not a happy chap.

    Add to this the fact that Mr Hamilton is no team leader (great talent, poor team leader) and also the fact that he doesnt handle pressure or adversity well (evidence, for example, the ‘tweetgate’ situation last season) and I predict one VERY unhappy set of campers by mid-season.

    Hamilton would have fared so much better by staying just one more year at Mclaren and watch how things developed at Merc before committing to the move. I think he chased the $$ and will regret it, heavily. Alan McNish wrote an interesting article a couple of weeks ago predicting that Hamilton may not even win another race.

    I could see that coming true. The mix of ingredients in Merc right now — including Hamilton himself – is just so volatile.

    Its going to be fascinating to watch – but sadly will probably mark the biggest waste of natural talent to sit in an F1 car.

    Joel Reply:

    A lot of teams are speculating that the others will be concentrating on 2014 and see it as an opportunity…

    I’m sensing that almost all teams are hoping this is the case, which sort of tells be – it will be just like any other year.

    david nelson Reply:

    I agree that Lauda can be extremely teutonic. I absolutely agree that LH is not the person to drag a team to the front by force of personality. He is far more likely to just sulk when he realises it’s all going nowhere. I don’t agree about LH having just one more year at McLaren then watch for a move. McLaren wanted complete commitment and probably knew all along they weren’t going to get it.

    James, in F1 is a COMMERCIAL deal and a FINANCIAL deal the same? After LH had left McLaren, Whitmarsh stated that McLaren had made Hamilton what MW believed to be the best COMMERCIAL deal in F1. ie. the side that deals with sponsorship commitments etc.etc. I’ve also heard him talk of FINANCIAL deals (not necesarily in relation to LH) as if they are completely seperate contractual obligations.

    brad Reply:

    James, i think people are looking at 2014 and 2013 from the wrong perspective. If you are fighting for the championships or a williams or a sauber, why not push the boat fully out this year to the end, and then accept a slow start to 2014. There are bound to be holes in designs net year and engine failures etc, so playing it late next year allows you more time and opportunity to copy other ideas and work out the best way.

    After all thats the way Brawn got their year, as Mc and Fer went toe to toe in 08 and were behind the curve in 09 and let the likes of brawn and red bull in.

    i reckon Sauber could win this year if they push on to the end??

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, but if you finish 5th this year instead of 7th, that’s a difference of many millions of €.

    So you have to trade off…

    Dan Reply:

    Surely a better plan is to cruise through 2013 and put everything into 2014?

    The risk is that you lose sponsors.

    Brawn got their year by spending 400 million on a major rule change.

    Smaller teams probably don’t have that kind of money, so it doesn’t really matter what they do.

    Irish con Reply:

    James if Lewis had of been driving the merc last year how many races do you think he would of won. I think he would of won Monaco amd possibly china but Nico seems to be a china specialist.

    [Reply]

    **Paul** Reply:

    What about Nico? My view is that Nico will run Lewis far far closer than many expect, which won’t really help Lewis’s reputation which has gone on a downward curve since JB rocked up at McLaren and showed he was very similar in pace terms.

    We’ll see though. I was right predicting JB would keep Lewis honest, whilst the media were happy to predict a whitewash, is deja vu on the cards ?

    [Reply]

    aezy_doc Reply:

    I don’t think Lewis’s reputation has fallen, how much did Merc pay him? He is hot property and still regarded as one of the fastest drivers on the grid.
    JB was behind Lewis on ‘pace’ for the practically the whole time they were team mates.
    I can’t think of many people who are saying Nico will be far behind either.

    Richard Reply:

    Button isn’t similar in pace to Hamilton just look at the qualifying if you need evidence. On top of that high deg tyres curb performance overall because everyone is trying to look after them.

    Glennb Reply:

    Nico is no bunny. To me, this is the most interesting pairing for 2013. I have no idea who will come out on top but I dont think it will be a whitewash either way. Both these guys are dynamite qualifiers while Lewis is a proven racer / winner. I’m far from Lewis’ biggest fan but I do respect his track record. Nico on the other hand has never really been in a consistently good / fast car and is hard to judge. Really looking forward to this one :)

    **Paul** Reply:

    @Richard, a race isn’t over 1 lap in F1. So ‘pace’ takes into account tactical nous, looking after tyres, knowing when to switch to wets/drys etc. Take all that into account and Button and Hamilton were very evenly matched over 3 seasons as numerous stats show.

    Gary E Reply:

    On race pace Button and Hamilton were evenly matched, not a suprise to me given the tyre saving, fuel saving nature of the regs compared to the Bridgestone – refueling days. However single lap pace on Saturday sets up your grid position on Sunday. Vettels whole campaign is based around front of the grid Saturday, control the race on Sunday. Single lap pace is stll one of the most important factors in F1.

    Dan Reply:

    To be in an unreliable car luck is a huge factor in determing who beats who. Button scored 2 more points in the last 3 seasons than Hamilton, but Button only last about 50 points for unreliability; Hamilton lost about 150.

    This is where the statistic “who finished ahead when both drivers finished” comes in handy.

    For Hamilton vs Button, this reads 10-3, 7-7, and 8-3 for 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. Overall a rather sobering 25-13.

    Why did Button score more points, half because Hamilton collided many times with other cars, half because he had much much better luck with reliability.

    AuraF1 Reply:

    Nico handled the sheer force of Schumacher’s personality and Hamilton isn’t nearly that much of a total despot.

    Although I don’t think Nico has quite the sheer speed of Lewis, I think once you’ve basically taken on and withstood Schumacher (albeit a slightly past his prime version) as a teammate, Lewis won’t feel as threatening.

    Lewis isn’t the sort to start throwing his weight around. He’s not an Alonso. He’s used to be looked after and just being the ‘driver’, not the ‘leader’ (not saying that’s a bad thing, just different personality styles).

    The interesting thing will be to see if Nico can withstand the sheer onslaught of Lewis more, er, ‘ardent’ fans. He best be prepared for the same treatment JB got – derided as either a loser or, should he outperform Lewis at any point, hated as some imagined evil genius villain.

    Quade Reply:

    You have to be drinking very strange tea to put JB on the same pedestal as Lewis.
    There are three stand out talents in F1:
    Lewis
    Alonso
    Kimi
    After this lot comes Vettel, Hulkenburg and Ricardo.
    Then its the new guy’s like the Di Resta’s, and then the older journey men like the Buttons and Webbers. Other journey men that have recently left the scene are the Truli’s, Heiki’s, Kobayashi’s etc.


  7.   7. Posted By: Wheels
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:13 pm 

    Hey, James!

    Word on the crash is Hamilton suffered a loss rear brake pressure. Otherwise he had the car already in the 1:19′s on relatively few laps.

    I say not bad for Mercedes, as Nico was starting to get down to business in only 11 laps, himself, (1:20′s) before the rear end fire.

    Good to have these thing (problems happening during the opening days of testing. In fact, that’s what these early sessions are for….

    [Reply]

    Timmay Reply:

    Er no, these sessions are for learning about the tyres and gaining confidence by doing 100 or so laps – they failed.

    [Reply]

    Wheels Reply:

    Hey, Timmay,

    Ever take anyone literally! It’s absolutely no disaster to have these opening sessions not go exactly to plan. Example=Ferrari, last season, who went on to be very competitive! Most certainly the next tests have to see Mercedes F1 do 150 laps, but even the Team spokesman says there is no need to panic…. Silver Arrow Mercedes seems to be right on the pace, instantly!

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Grant
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:28 pm 

    James, the headline is misleading.
    This was a mechanical failure, but you make it sound like lewis just lost control of the car.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It says pretty clearly “rear brakes at fault” !!!!

    I wouldn’t call that misleading!

    [Reply]

    DonSimon Reply:

    Typical of your pro/anti Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel bias and lack of impartiality.

    (delete as appropriate fans)

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Indeed!

    It takes all sorts, I suppose.

    tim Reply:

    There are conspiracy theorists and then there are Lewis Hamilton fans who comment on F1 websites …

    Peter Reply:

    James, your anti Hamilton bias is unbearable! We all know it should have read like this!

    Hero Hamilton Saves Mercedes Bacon

    “Without the enourmous talent of Lewis Hamilton the car would have been a complete write off. May we offer our full and frank apologies to Lewis and his whole fanbase for bitterly letting him down.” Ross Brawn was possibly heard to say after the incident, as he possibly wiped a tear from his eye.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I know..you are so right. I’m well and truly busted for the anti Hamilton hate monster that I truly am.

    Shamed……!

    Miha Bevc Reply:

    Who’s on the cover of the James’ 2012 book? Hamilton. Who won the title? Vettel. Who was driver of the year? Alonso. I wouldn’t say James has anything against Hamilton. I think this is the most unbiased F1 website there is….

    Tim Reply:

    Excellent – funniest post today!

    Clear View Reply:

    I agree that James give great coverage and insight into ALL the drivers and teams without exception.

    You can’t please them all unfortunately James, but there are many other sights if they ate not happy with your take on things. I always visit JAonF1 as my 1st port of call (daily) as the coverage is always interesting and detailed. As I’ve said many times before, keep it up James, us “real” F1 fans very much appreciate your work.

    Sebee Reply:

    Actually, I’ve had a feeling that if James was just a regular F1 fan like you and I and not part of the media, he would be wearing a Hamilton shirt in the grand stands on Sunday.

    James Allen Reply:

    LOL!

    Grant Reply:

    :D
    Too funny….

    DB Reply:

    This is driving me mad: was the title always like that or was it updated when the information about the brakes became available? How could I miss that the first time I read it?!

    [Reply]

    Phil Reply:

    Maybe the post title should read,

    ‘Mercedes Crashes Hamilton After 15 Laps, Merc to Blame, Definitley Merc, Not Hamilton At All’

    [Reply]

    Glennb Reply:

    I totally agree Grant. James should have entitled the piece “Hamilton crashes Mercedes after 15 laps, rear brakes at fault”.
    Oh, hang on….
    To say that James is anti “anyone” is ridiculous. As far as I can tell, James is a fan of the sport like many of us here are. We dont wish to see *anyone* fail. Yes we all have our favorites but deep down we just want to see an exciting motor race from start to finish. Personally I much prefer to see a young driver win his first GP, regardless of team. To that end I look forward to Perez winning his first race and I’m a Webber fan.

    [Reply]

    Richard Reply:

    I would imagine the reason James put Hamilton on the cover of his book is he knows there is no better way to promote it. Love him or loathe him…everyone seems to want to talk about him.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    True dat! Just have to look at the number of comments on any Hamilton story, compared to any other.

    Grant Reply:

    Honest truth is, I missed the last bit of the headline.
    So yes, my fault…….
    Or perhaps my point exactly.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Hear, hear. Could also see Grosjean join the GP winners’ club this season.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: madmax
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:53 pm 

    The main thing is Mercedes is making progress as Lewis got in 1 more lap than Nico yesterday.

    [Reply]

    Philippe H. Reply:

    I think Nico did 11 laps, whereas Lewis did 15. Not sure tough..

    [Reply]

    DB Reply:

    Yeah. By July they expect to complete a full race distance. ¦¬)

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    Funny stuff! :)

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Matt W
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 1:06 pm 

    If Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull are as closely matched as last year then I can’t see Mercedes getting on the podium often. That said, I do expect Lewis to win at least one race if he is worth his weight in salt.

    [Reply]

    Philippe H. Reply:

    That’s a little shortsighted Matt.. There were so many special races last year with unlikely outcomes. How often did we get a podium constituted of just Red Bull,Mclaren and Ferrari drivers? We had Australia, the British GP, Singapore, Korea,India, USA and Brazil. That makes 13 races out of 20 in wich we had non-’top team’ drivers on the podium. Of those 13 times, we had 20 podiums (first,2nd or 3th) and 3 non- top team winners (Pastor,Nico and Kimi). There were 60 podium places last year and the non-top teams took 20 of them. That’s not that bad. Of those 40 top team podium places, Hamilton took 7 (4 wins), that’s gotta count for something knowing he moves to a ‘non-top team’.

    I will give you one thing, there were more top team podiums by the end of the year, but that can be explained by the fact that they needed to push development till the bitter end.

    Rule stability does not necessarily mean that top teams will get a bigger part of the “podium cake”, in fact I believe it will give non- top teams the opportunity to close the gap to the top. If you don’t believe me, Mclaren’s Sam Michael said the same thing in one of James’s podcasts.

    So in conclusion:
    Will only the top teams fight for the championships? Probably.. Will the non-top teams get regular podiums? You bet your sweet patootie :p!

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Paul Dunk
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 1:55 pm 

    Mercedes clearly need another couple of executives.

    [Reply]

    Red Rider Reply:

    Good one. I had a nice chuckle.

    There are lots of things to like about sports. At the top, they have two characteristics which are different from real life: when you sit down, you know what the result will be in a few hours, and frankly the result doesn’t matter. In real life who’s winning and losing is often not so clear and the results will change your life: dying living, get job, don’t, results negative, you’ve got cancer, et cetera. It’s good to laugh. So I like the humour in some of the posts.

    [Reply]

    Mitchel Reply:

    He he. +1.

    Maybe some quiet guys like Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore would steady the ship nicely…

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Personally I’d get those great mates Ron Dennis and Max Mosley in there together.
    I think Max would like the German angle..

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Stickymart
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 1:57 pm 

    James, as this is very early days in th testing calendar this surely isn’t a great indicator towards reliability is it? One of the things that a lot of people seem to forget is that these sessions are meant to iron out faults like this.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Exactly. It says that in the post….

    [Reply]

    Stickymart Reply:

    Sorry, scan reading whilst at work….!

    [Reply]

    tim clarke Reply:

    “get back to work you slack-jawed yokels”
    - Montgomery Burns

    Joel Reply:

    Agreed. However, I would expect these faults to show up after “some” running, not as soon as you put the pedal to metal…

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: SJM
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 2:05 pm 

    Looking at his lap times, it seems he was gaining momentum when the brakes went. Away from the early problems, the Silver Arrow definitely has pace

    [Reply]

    Philippe H. Reply:

    Difficult to tell really (so many things to consider), but let’s hope so..

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    Didn’t Schumacher dominate the opening times at Jerez in 2012 though? Didn’t turn out so great for him. That car fell apart more than the banger I got at 17.

    I suppose if Lewis finishes at least one more race than Schumacher did, it’s progress on reliability though.

    [Reply]

    JustAFan Reply:

    Yeah.. Kinda like a certain M Schumacher.. how the Merc always gave up on him just as he was “gaining momentum”

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: AENG
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 2:38 pm 

    In this situation the most intriguing and interesting thing is good pace of LH which he could deliver in his 1st shortened session. Cross fingers for Mers to enhance F1 intrigue.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Luke
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm 

    James you are very clear in your wording throughout, I think maybe the real anti-Hamilton’s will jump on your back for saying he crashed! If a car on the road has rear brake failure and hits a wall, it will be deemed a crash, as is Hamiltons incident.

    Mercedes looking very promising.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: DonFernando
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 2:59 pm 

    If he locked up the brakes it was Hamiltons fault. Of course you would expect Mercedes to cover up for their new aquisition. He said so himself in the past that locking up the brakes is a career long problem of him.

    [Reply]

    MarkB Reply:

    Imagine your a Formula 1 team principal and you’ve just spent many millions of dollars on building a new car, spent every waking hour ensuring it was all put together in time for the first, of only a handful of crucial time limited tests. Do you really think you would then sacrifice a full days testing to save your driver a tiny bit of embarrassment.

    The front damage is (apparently) negligible, therefore we can only conclude the work being done now is on the issue which caused the accident, or perhaps they are just pretending its broken.

    [Reply]

    Joel Reply:

    Do you even understand when a lockup happens? I din’t expect anything else, going by your screen name…

    In this case, he had to lock his front as the rears had failed.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: ACx
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm 

    I tend to think that one cant have full confidence in the car or properly know its limits unless one has crashed the thing. Especially with a new car and team.

    [Reply]

    Laurence H Reply:

    That’s exactly my philosophy when buying new road cars. I can’t get insured anymore…

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    LOL!!!!! Classic!

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    Yes, why not? Go and buy yourself a brand new Bentley and crash it everyday. That looks like a brilliant idea,does it? And if you break your leg or your ribs that´s even a better feeling.

    Aaaaghh!!! Some of you are really amazing

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Anne,
    some have higher testosterone levels than IQ..

    [Reply]

    ACx Reply:

    Yes, and can read.


  18.   18. Posted By: Michael Powell
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm 

    Lots of bar room speculation here, very little evidence based discussion. It’s like being in church.

    [Reply]

    aezy_doc Reply:

    they don’t have bar rooms in church…

    [Reply]

    Michael Powell Reply:

    Ha, been mixing my similes not my drinks. Of course, here in Wales, the pub, rugby club, and chapel are often the same thing, or seem so after a few pints.

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    Mercedes is just like Wales in the Six Nations.

    Great performance both of them so far. Don´t you agree?

    Sorry I couldn´t help it

    :)

    Tornillo Amarillo Reply:

    Just a table and wine.

    [Reply]

    tim clarke Reply:

    my bar IS my church!

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Stephen Taylor
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 3:41 pm 

    Rumour spreading as usual are we posters? Good work James by the way.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: CarlH
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 3:59 pm 

    Didn’t Lewis have an off in his first official test as a McLaren driver as well? I’m sure he mentioned that in his interview on Top Gear a few years ago.

    Coincidence? Erm…. yeah, probably.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    With that method of thinking, goferet would surmise,
    Alonso and Hamilton will fight the WDC down to the wire and Kimi will nick it by a point..

    [Reply]

    CarlH Reply:

    Bad news for Button as well. McLaren will back their quick but inexperienced youngster over their former World Champion, leading to Button quitting to join the team with which he won his World Championship, Brawn GP. Which will obviously be re-formed for 2014 when Ross Brawn is replaced by Paddy Lowe at Mercedes.

    It’s all so simple when you look at it…..

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    He definitely binned it in 2009. I think that was down to a gust of wind (if I recall). Admittedly that was a dog of a McLaren at winter testing.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Red Rider
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:07 pm 

    Thank you James. The reports are coming in nice and quick, like breads in a bakery early in the morning.

    And the bread is good.

    And the fellow customers are fun to chat with.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: DANNY
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:22 pm 

    26 laps in total over two days! At least the car has pace out of the box. They just need to get in enough laps to set the car up properly and start adding the new parts for Australia. It seems that Mercedes will be a contender this season.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Val from montreal
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:30 pm 

    First a fire and now brakes … Mercedes-Brackley have to be the worst “top” team in recent memory …. They had 3 years with the greatest of them all and still could’nt cut it. … But it’s going to be alright now , because James Allen has been 3 times to their factory and Hamilton sees their HUNGER !!

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Correction, they had 3 years with statistically the greatest of them all and still couldn’t cut it because they didn’t have bespoke tyres, endless testing and a decent design chief in the team…

    [Reply]

    Val from montreal Reply:

    I thought we were friends ! You can call me by my full name : Valentino ….. Anyways forgive my ignorance but what is a bespoke tire ? Go ask Bridgestone if they regret their decision of backing Schumacher and Ferrari … 2006 F1 Racing’s back cover had a BIG thank you from Bridgestone to Michael Schumacher … Yes the greatest of them all and also the fastest ! But don’t take my word for it but instead the word from 2 ex F1 drivers who actually raced against him ; Prost and Brundle (1995 ) … AP : ” I regarded him more as I regarded Senna . He is always competetive and very rarely does anything silly .” … Martin Brundle : ” I realised he had a special talent and there was no point blowing my brains out over it. I have felt for some time he is the fastest out there and, even before Senna died , I was convinced that, in terms of raw speed, he was . The guy is awesome . ” ….So Hero , dont be mad at Schumacher just because he was able to beat your hero in a less faster car ; ie 1994 … Its not Schumacher’s fault that Senna spun out in Brazil while trying to catch the superiour German … Let bygones be bygones , will ya !!

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Val, be very careful on who you choose to quote, it can hide certain agendas.
    Prost was proven by the bluray Senna film to be a [mod]. The case in point,which the film makers used,was when he said he hadn’t gone to the stewards after Suzuka 1989, yet there he was sat in the office, talking to Balestre and co whilst the race was still running and immediately afterwards. His silence during that interview when he was reminded of his actions was illuminating. That’s history now anyway.
    Brundle made these comments regarding his 1992 season with MSC. he was also referring to the “passing of the mantel” from Senna to MSC as the fastest in the world. It happens in every generation, it happened to MSC when Alonso came along.

    Re: Bridgestone saying thanks. Are you kidding? Why wouldn’t they? The guy was supreme on their products.
    Don’t misunderstand, I was grateful too, for everything he brought to Ferrari, as in the success, the mind blowing victories, the relentless pursuit of success and the excellence of the whole squad.
    But every yin has its yang, and the arrogance of the whole outfit with controversies, Malaysia 1999, Silverstone 1998, Monaco 2006, Jerez 1997 and others that escape me at the moment, but maybe the worse demonstration of misunderstanding the public was Austria 2002. Barrichello had beaten him in the dominant car yet Todt and MSC wanted the win. His reaction on that podium was that of a spoilt child caught out.
    Statistically he’s the greatest, but when professionals are asked opinions its Senna that they call the greatest. That also includes Brundle on the Top Gear special. James recently made comment that Senna was the best he’s ever seen.
    I think that comes down to the fact that Senna beat Prost, a recognised great

    I don’t like the pattern I’m seeing recently where Alonso, Vettel and co are demanding who their team mate is, that’s why I really do raise my hat to Button. I was one of the doubters in 2010 thinking Lewis would destroy him, yet there he is number 1 at Mclaren


  24.   24. Posted By: Elie
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:33 pm 

    Whilst disappointing for all to see a mechanical failure in the Mercedes it must be very encouraging to see Lewis pull a 1.19 after only a few timed laps in a new team / car.

    Talk about conspiracy theories- how many anti Hamilton people out there- I bet just as many as actual fans. The team says the rear left brake failed as he locked the fronts from a long way back – yet we’ve already seen many driver fault posts- even if that was the case-he was hired to push that team forward – they got alot work to do and nows the time to be finding the cars limits isn’t it.
    I think Lewis will win more than 1 race this year. I also think Mercedes will be better at developing the car this year. They have 4 technical geniuses in that team now and alot more funding than previously- I don’t think they will be wanting in the development race. It should be a great year even for the development of 2014 car.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Who knows. LH did say it was an “easy” time to do, so there could be more there. But you never really know.

    Mercedes have to get better in the development stakes. That kinda stuff you can’t just turn on, on command, if you haven’t been known for it prior to then.

    Regarding the tech people, did I read that right that Newey’s on £10m a year, while Lowe’s on £500k??? That is some discrepancy! Anyone got a reasonably sourced list of what various key F1 team personnel are pulling down?

    [Reply]

    Elie Reply:

    yeah I read somewhere that Lowe was on around 600K. But didnt hear the Adrian Newey amount-worth every pence!.

    Understand they might not be champions and it does take time to turn a team around and I think this year will be the start of it.

    But the answer to all this nonsense is BUDGET restrictions, people..If you can pay a guru GBP10M and another team cant keep a driver (Kobayashi, Kovalianen, etc) unless he brings that amount- surely theres is something wrong in the “sport”.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: alastair emmerson
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:41 pm 

    Why is most folk writing the merc off already just because of what’s happened the last few seasons. Merc have showed great pace especially last year, schumi was qualifying pretty high up in quite a few races, and of course china, Monaco. If they dont do well they don’t do well simple, but now they have changed a few things in the team why can’t they compete for wins or titles this year and keep up with the others.

    [Reply]

    JustAFan Reply:

    Yeah.. Clearly the Merc is “on fire” and “unstoppable”.

    [Reply]

    Yos Reply:

    WOW, you really know how to play with words but it is only first week of testing.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Janis
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm 

    Well,
    one has to think about the procedures they are using at Mercedes.
    Issues with the wiring loom and brake line to the caliper (if Mercedes told the truth, of course) are relatively straightforward and should have been ironed out during factory testing – instead of loosing them 2 valuable track days.
    This is in stark contrast with the reliability even the “minor” teams are demonstrating during this test.

    [Reply]

    grat Reply:

    I suspect that the W04 was such a massive rework of the W03 that they didn’t have time to sort out all of the “little” issues.

    It gives a bit more credence to the idea that this is a completely different car than the W03.

    Unfortunately, the bottom line is whereas the Red Bull has done 174 laps, and Lotus has 149, Mercedes has done 26. For a new car, that’s bad.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    When you are doing 300k heading for a barrier with no brakes the “little issue” is what is running down your leg.

    [Reply]

    Cos Reply:

    hahaha….

    thankfully the speed before the accident was that big and he wasn’t hurt. I know the cars are built to absorb/dissapate the energy of a crash but I always keep my fingers crossed when seeing an F1 spearing straight into a crash barrier.

    KRB Reply:

    Yeah, he slowed it own quite a bit. Europe 2007 or Spain 2010, or Spa 2011, were far worse crashes.


  27.   27. Posted By: Clear View
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 4:46 pm 

    It was only the fronts that locked up not the rears, so those who STILL think it was Hamilton’s bad, get a grip. I saw a clip of the incident.

    [Reply]

    audifan Reply:

    if there is a rear brake problem then the fronts will ALWAYS lock up

    [Reply]

    Clear View Reply:

    Yes I know, there was a post or 2 saying lewis locked up so it’s his mistake. I was trying to point out its an obvious equipment failure as only the fronts locked and the rears didn’t. You and I know this but others seem to have missed the issue.

    [Reply]

    Yak Reply:

    The fronts locking without the rears locking isn’t a definite rear brake failure though. Certainly it’s what will happen if the rears have failed and everything goes to the front, but the fronts locking isn’t exclusively a rear brake problem.

    That said, at least it was a rear brake failure and not a front brake failure. Locking the fronts and understeering off the track into a wall might suck, but it’s no doubt preferable to locking the rears and being thrown straight off the track sideways at high speed.


  28.   28. Posted By: Michael Powell
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 5:12 pm 

    Better to start with a fast car that’s unreliable, than a reliable one that’s slow.

    [Reply]

    Simmo Reply:

    Well, you say that, but look at who did better last year – Ferrari or McLaren?

    And, last year Mercedes had speed, but reliability cost them one or two potential podiums…

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    Usually true – but Alonso beat Hamilton last year – he had the slow but reliable Ferrari, whilst Hamilton had the fast but disaster prone McLaren…

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    True-but Lewis has already stated he does not think he will be a serious championship contender. If you are not in the hunt for the championship the next best thing is podiums/winning. So better to have a fast car capable of winning when the opportunity presents itself even if it has a few DNF’s.

    [Reply]

    Michael Powell Reply:

    What I said was it was better to START with a fast car. It’s easy to improve reliability over time, although that does seem a problem for some, but if you have a slow car it’s not so easy to improve at the rate needed to catch up, overtake, and then recover the points you have lost.


  29.   29. Posted By: shortsighted
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 5:19 pm 

    I have a feeling that Mercedes is going to make good this year. I don’t think Hamilton is so stupid that he did not study his prospect closely before deserting a top team for a hitherto struggling one. With Mercedes’ enormous technical resources and knowhow, I doubt if the company will want to tolerate another season with its name down with the also-runs. The drastic removal of Haug shows their new commitment.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Mercedes bought the Brawn team because they liked the idea of the RRA.

    MSC himself said over the winter, that the budget the team has is not sufficient to win in F1.

    Rumours have already circulated about different investors being sought to buy into the team, it seems Mercedes is planning a get out from F1

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Lee
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 5:33 pm 

    Will all those using this as an excuse to stick the knife in please get a grip, it’s the 2nd day of testing. Testing being something you do to find the faults so you can correct them.

    It’s no biggie, and for the record I’m not particularly a Hamilton, or Merc fan.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: rob in victoria bc
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 5:52 pm 

    I heard Roscoe was taking a nap down around the pedals and got in the way.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Simon
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 6:07 pm 

    They should sack an executive director for each car failure in testing. That way, when they leave jerez at the end of the week they should have the right number of executive directors on the plane home…. And hopefully for Lewis’ sake the one left is a certain mr brawn.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Tornillo Amarillo
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 6:53 pm 

    Mercedes appears to have HRT-esque failures, but wait, it’s only the start of the season and not the end of a team that face extintion, so I guess the Best should come sooner than later, hopefully.

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Captain Obvious
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 7:19 pm 

    Hamilton and his fans will soon realize that going to Mercedes was one of the dumbest moves an F1 driver ever made in the sport.

    You think Schumacher, 7 times world champion, was just playing around in that team? [mod]

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    I wonder what the benefit of this dark soothsaying fad is?
    When 2015 or 2016, we can begin to decide if his move was dumb or not. Its not smart to draw immovable, concrete, cast in iron conclusions before then.
    F1 is a highly technical sport that can take twists, turns and corkscrews even in a single season as engineering teams square up with innovation and counter innovation. Its not something to predict or bet on.

    [Reply]

    Captain Obvious Reply:

    Not with Team Honda, 2009 was a fluke.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Hal
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 9:42 pm 

    +1 to JA F1 – informative headline (not sensationalist like some sites). Although judging by some comments it seems some people couldn’t read past ‘Hamilton crashes…’.

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Yak
        Date: February 7th, 2013 @ 1:32 am 

    I guess it is indeed a good thing that they’re having these failures early on in the testing sessions, rather than closer to or during the first race weekend.

    The problem for Merc at the moment IMO is that they’re not having smaller faults that they can fix up and get back out later in the session. Or some aero oddities that aren’t quite matching up with what they expected. They’re running a dozen or so laps and then being written off for the rest of the day. They’re losing huge amounts of running sitting in the garage. They might fix up the first problem, then fix up this brake problem, get out the next day and encounter another terminal problem, once again not really giving them the running they need to at least make sure the car can go the distance (let alone gather enough aero data, tyre data, etc.).

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    Rosberg did 148 laps for Merc today.
    I believe thats an ALL time testing record for number of laps done in a day.

    If Jenson had not red flagged the session with another break down today, Nico could well have topped 150 – 160 laps today.

    [Reply]

    Yak Reply:

    Yeah, good to see the ran far more reliably and were able to make up for some lost ground. Hopefully it’s the last of their reliability problems. It’d be a shame if they had a quick car with two good drivers, only to be brought down again and again like Schumi early 2012.

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: February 7th, 2013 @ 2:53 am 

    Lewis will be hounded again and again for good or for worse, very unfair. What will they say about his new 20 million dollars private jet?

    He had purples on sect 2 and 3 in the Autosport live reports which is no surprise.

    Isn’t it better to let whatever that can fail now, instead of the first race. That’s why they call it testing.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Kay
        Date: February 7th, 2013 @ 4:46 am 

    This is all very familiar, no?

    When Lewis first joined McLaren in 2007, he had a huge crash as well in the first test. Turned out to be a very successful year for him :)

    So best of luck to Lewis!

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: F1Ray
        Date: February 7th, 2013 @ 4:54 am 

    This team needs more Directors. A Director of Brakes, and a Director of Electrics, would be a good start.

    [Reply]

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