World Set-up changes the key to success for Lewis Hamilton in Portimao?

18:45  26 october  2020
18:45  26 october  2020 Source:   de.motorsport.com

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Mercedes changed the set-up of the cars again on Saturday's Formula 1 race weekend in Portimao - this was an important step for Lewis Hamilton

Last Sunday, Lewis Hamilton secured his 92nd career victory in Portimao the top of the eternal table and catapulted before Michael Schumacher. In the race, the Brit overtook his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and drove to victory after a dominant performance. A last minute set-up change played an important role in this.

Andrew Shovlin is the Mercedes director of engineers on the track and thus has a major influence on the vehicle settings of the two Mercedes cars. Before qualifying on Saturday, there was a significant change to the wing that should provide more downforce on the track in Portugal.

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This change played into the cards primarily for Hamilton, who got along better with tire management due to the new wing settings. While the current world champion flew away at the top, Bottas had to let his team-mate drive away.

More wings for the Mercedes

"On Saturday morning we tried two different wing settings," explains Shovlin. "We started the race weekend with fewer wings and I think that was the right decision. The additional downforce would have helped us today if the raindrops had turned into a shower."

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas © Provided by motorsport.com Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

Hamilton drove Bottas away in the race

Photo: Motorsport Images

Even if that wasn't the case, the new set-up had a positive effect on the balance of the Mercedes car Hamilton impacted. Shovlin says: "He's talking more about the balance in the car and that he didn't have to use the tires as hard. Qualifying was about warming them up and getting them to the right temperature."

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According to Shovlin, the tires on the left side are particularly stressed in Portimao. It is also important to protect both the front and rear tires equally. "Otherwise you will lose your balance," reveals the technology expert. "Lewis has a natural talent for managing the tires. He has a good feeling for recognizing where he's using them. He's also able to take care of them."

Hamilton manages the tires well While Bottas felt vibrations and had to come to the pits, Hamilton felt right at home on the medium. He could have done even more laps on the tires. Bottas then wanted to have soft tires fitted for the second stint, but this proposal was rejected by Mercedes. He had to continue to use the same strategy as Hamilton and therefore got the hard tires.

After the stops, the gap between the Briton and Bottas grew bigger and bigger. Shovlin blames a certain factor for this: "The key here is the tire temperature, because if you manage to get the temperature into the tires, the grip level increases. In 90 percent of the races they get too warm, which is why we try to to cool the tires. "

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That was different in Portimao due to the weather conditions. He says: "The cold conditions made it more difficult and there was also the light rain." On the hard tires there were big differences between Hamilton and Botta's : "Lewis managed it quickly, while Valtteri got stuck in traffic, which is why the pace of the competitors had to drive. At this point the temperature difference between the tires was around ten degrees big."

Therefore, Hamilton took the lead and drove to victory, while his team-mate from Finland had to be satisfied with second place. For Shovlin, one factor played a major role: "There was a difference of almost a second. So the key was the temperature difference between the tires."

With images from Motorsport Images.

Then Hamilton will stop at the earliest .
Lewis Hamilton is close to Michael Schumacher's world championship record in Formula 1. Bianca Garloff comments why it makes no sense for him to end his career. © Provided by sport1.de Then Hamilton will listen to at the earliest. Mercedes set a monument for itself in Formula 1 on Sunday. Seven in one fell swoop, seven world titles in a row. No team in the history of the premier class has ever achieved this.

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