In the race on Sunday, the Englishman’s superiority was similarly clear. There he started from tenth place because of his new engine (five starting places penalty). He flew through the field and in the end could not be prevented from winning by a Verstappen with a knife between his teeth.
Marko therefore still seemed at a loss on Tuesday and at the end of his wisdom. “I’ve never seen a Mercedes rocket motor like this,” he drew a sobering conclusion in an interview with ABMS. “We couldn’t keep Hamilton on the straight, even though he was driving with a rear wing that was set up as steeply as in Monaco. But only Hamilton has this speed, the other Mercedes drivers are nothing to worry about. “
The Austrians are now working day and night to uncover the Mercedes (Hamilton) secret. Marko: “We are mainly concerned with two things that we may also bring up to the FIA for clarification. But there will only be a protest when we have evidence that something about Hamilton’s car does not comply with the rules. “
ABMS knows: The two things are the Hamilton engine and a mysterious system that can lower the W12 on the straight, drastically reducing drag and increasing top speed. When braking, the car lifts up again and is fully in the airstream again to generate maximum downforce for the corners.
This fits: Red Bull has on-board recordings of the Hamilton Black Arrow from Sao Paulo. They show how the Briton pulls his steering wheel towards him by millimeters when braking for the first corner. The technicians are still puzzling whether the mysterious system could be actively triggered by the driver in this way.
But it is questionable whether the FIA inspectors find anything illegal in Hamilton’s racing car. Neither the engine nor the chassis. It is forbidden to develop the drive units that are frozen by the regulations during the season in order to generate more power. However, you can work on the engine to increase reliability. It was previously Mercedes’ Achilles heel. That is why the engine forge in Brixworth (GB) has started exactly there and once again improved the durability for the season’s final spurt.
The rest comes from the sophisticated hydraulic damper system, which specifically lowers the car when accelerating. Active chassis that electronically regulate the ground clearance and the interaction of the dampers are prohibited. However, if the driver gives the triggering command via the steering wheel, for example, that would be legal. That could explain Hamilton’s pulling and pushing on the steering wheel.
The fact is: the technology itself is not new. As early as 2014, the front and rear axles were networked via the so-called FRIC system, which was then banned. Since then, various top teams have been using pre-set dampers to lower cars further when accelerating if the vehicle is already buckling at the rear. Red Bull believes that Mercedes is actively reinforcing this functionality on Lewis Hamilton’s car by giving the command to the driver on the steering wheel.