Mercedes retired George Russell’s W15 at British GP to avoid penalty later this F1 season

Lewis Hamilton’s win at the British Grand Prix marked the second straight victory for Mercedes. The win for Hamilton, coming on the heels of George Russell’s surprise win at the Austrian Grand Prix, aided the team’s climb closer to Red Bull at the top of the grid.

But the day could have been better for Mercedes, were it not for a water system failure on Russell’s W15. The Mercedes driver was running fourth when he was instructed on Lap 33 to retire the car, ending any chances of a double podium for the Silver Arrows.

In the team’s post-race debrief, Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin noted that Mercedes had been tracking the issue on Russell’s W15 since earlier in the race, and made the difficult decision to retire his car to prevent further damage — and perhaps a grid penalty later in the season — from occurring.

“I mean unfortunately we knew that we had an issue relatively early in the race, so we were tracking this from the first stint,” said Shovlin. the water system that was causing the pressure to start to drift, and ultimately when we stopped the car, it was to protect the power unit. So we knew that we were never going to finish the race.

“What you don’t want to do is finish the race and destroy the power unit, then you’ll be looking at a penalty possibly later in the year. So it was preventative, but there was no way that we were going to get to the checkered flag.”

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Russell took on some new components for his W15, including a new internal combustion engine, a new turbocharger, a new motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), and a new motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K). Each of those units was the third such component on Russell’s car this year, one shy of the total allotment of four allowed per season without penalty.

Pushing Russell’s W15 at Silverstone to the point of a potential failure, where they “destroy” the power unit as Shovline noted, would have almost guaranteed a penalty later in the season. That is the situation Max Verstappen is facing after the team made similar changes ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The decision to retire Russell’s car may have caused some heartache on Sunday at Silverstone, but it could pay off for Mercedes later this season.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top