Lewis Hamilton is likely to start the German GP from the pitlane as Mercedes plans to switch him from Brembo to Carbon Industrie discs for the race.
That would be a change of car specification under parc ferme conditions, and a loss of grid position is the automatic result.
An optimistic Toto Wolff says that Mercedes hopes that the FIA will regard the change of supplier as a safety issue, but rivals insist that there is no chance of any leniency, and that it’s a straightforward case of a change of specification.
It’s worth remembering that when RBR had a tyre issue at Spa the team was not allowed to change cambers overnight on safety grounds.
“I don’t think we will be running the same brake material tomorrow because there is no way you can analyse what happened and how to prevent it in the future within 12 hours,” said Wolff. “So the latest information is that we will switch the brake material.”
Regarding the penalty, he said: “I’m not sure that this is totally clarified. We have had a brake failure, which means that we are obliged to make sure that the car is running safe tomorrow. What that could mean is switching the brake supplier. Whether that has to result in starting from the pitlane, we are discussing that with the FIA. I would even go further, obviously many teams are running that brake material, so that safety discussion probably needs to be extended.”
However other teams using Brembo told this writer they do not believe that they face any issues here, although there have been disc failures this year. Teams using Brembo include Ferrari, RBR, Sauber. Force India, Toro Rosso and Marussia.
Regarding Hamilton’s preference for Brembo he said: “Brembo had a failure earlier in the year, and they have upgraded the discs to what supposedly is the safest disc. They have put a lot of research into the carbon disc, so there was no gamble whatsoever, it was just a matter of what suits your driving style more. Both of them have been trying both brake materials almost every weekend.”
One response to “Hamilton heading for pitlane start despite Mercedes safety claims”
Yes, but the real question we’re all wanting answered is was someone able to get him a new driving suit with “Carbon Industrie” embroidered on the back in time for the race? 🙂