Why Hamilton’s Incident in FP2 gives Rosberg the Edge

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

Lewis Hamilton only managed four laps in free practice 2 after taking his Mercedes W07 into turn eleven with too much speed. He mounted the kerb and was a passenger from then on. Luckily, the car wasn’t too damaged but the Brit was left on the sidelines for the rest of the session.

The lack of running for Hamilton plays directly into Rosberg’s hands, as the Brit misses out on the opportunity to set his car up and find the sweet spot. Of course, Hamilton will have access to Rosberg’s data, this situation was mirrored at the British Grand Prix as Rosberg sat out the FP2 session with a water leak (on the car, he didn’t just need a piss).

The issue for Hamilton is that each driver has a unique feel for the mechanical beast beneath him. It’s like in the movie Avatar, but instead of a biological chord, it’s a team of engineers.

So going into FP3, Qualifying and the race itself, Hamilton has already lost ground. Although there is dual number 1 driver status at Mercedes, the logical step from a team perspective will be to prioritize Rosberg’s car so that they can have a shot at winning the race.

Of course, if Hamilton pulls off a Hamilton and out-qualifies Rosberg tomorrow anyway, Mercedes will always prioritize the lead car in terms of strategy (Unless they listen to Niki Lauda).

After Hamilton’s crash in FP2, he told reporters that,

“Well they’ve got those new white kerbs [on approach to Turn 11]. I think I put my rear wheel just slightly over that white line and touched that kerb, they’re very slippy — I don’t know why they’ve put them there to be honest, it was fine the way it was before.

I hit the wall perfectly sideways so I was able to pull away. I just overloaded the wishbones, it didn’t break anything, but rather than go out and have one of them fail we didn’t go back out.”

– Lewis Hamilton

After such a significant incident that will skew his program for tomorrow’s practice session, the Brit will at least know to avoid the white kerbs for the rest of the weekend.