‘Hamilton not to blame for hydraulic failure’

Date published: July 22 2018

Lewis Hamilton

Toto Wolff has exonerated Lewis Hamilton, insisting the Brit’s hydraulic issue in qualifying was not caused by his driving.

Putting in the laps in Q1 on Saturday, Hamilton mounted the Hockenheimring kerbs and temporarily became airborne before landing hard.

Moments later his W09 suffered a hydraulic failure.

Hamilton tried to limp back to the pits, even tried to push his own car back but eventually gave up.

His qualifying was over with the Brit set to line up P14 on Sunday’s grid.

It was the second time this season that Mercedes suffered a hydraulic issue following on from Valtteri Bottas’ problem in Austria.

Wolff insists Hamilton’s driving was not the cause.

“It’s always quite difficult to define cause and consequence,” the Mercedes motorsport boss told the official F1 website.

“What we saw is that in the previous lap, running wide but completely within the boundaries of what we can do saw a small overload.

“In the next lap, going over the kerbs, a hydraulic leak caused the power steering failure, and that power steering failure made this spectacular off over the kerbs. We’re just taking it apart.

“We have seen failures in Austria, not only on our cars but on other cars. But before we’ve taken it apart, I can’t tell you whether the high load was caused… whether it was a certain frequency that we hit, was it an angle onto the kerb. But definitely it was not Lewis’ driving.

“We always seek to find our own contribution to a problem. And so from his driving, he was of the opinion ‘maybe I caused the problem’ and we were of the opinion ‘maybe we caused the problem’.

“So I think at the moment we are unpicking how the problem has started. As far as we understand now, without having seen any detail, it was not caused by the driver.”

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