Reason faulty Mercedes pit stop: "This situation not automated in software".

08-09-2020 20:31
F1 News
Reason faulty Mercedes pit stop: This situation not automated in software.

Lewis Hamilton received a very severe penalty at Monza during the Italian GP; a stop & go of ten seconds had to be taken by the British driver. The reason was an illegal pit stop made by the team, while the pit entrance was closed under the yellow flag. Andrew Shovlin explains how this happened.

Mercedes fault costly for Hamilton

Kevin Magnussen suddenly dropped out of his Haas F1 car and was unable to reach the pit lane. The Dane did reach the entrance of the pitlane. For safety reasons, yellow flags appeared for the whole track and the entrance to the pitlane closed. Antonio Giovinazzi and Lewis Hamilton went inside anyway. The teams had misjudged the situation.

In the F1 Nation podcast, Mercedes chief Andrew Shovlin explains how this could happen: "In our software, many of the messages we receive are automatically translated into a spoken message so that even if we don't look at the monitors for a moment, we still get to see what is happening and our communication runs smoothly".

Rare Mercedes moment

"The situation on the road was somewhat odd and not very common," continues Shovlin. "We have not yet automated the situation as it were. There was someone who realised the error relatively quickly, but he was in the factory. We had a second or two to act and the delay over the connection did not allow us to do so".

It is a rare moment for the Mercedes team. However, it did cost the team dearly. Lewis Hamilton only finished seventh. The last time Mercedes made a mistake during the pit stop was in Germany 2019. Also then it became expensive for the team. Hamilton's pit stop then lasted more than fifty seconds.

Shovlin concludes his explanation: "We were all focused on the pit stop at the point of entry. Ronnie [Ron Meadows, ed.] then pays attention to the mechanics and checks if we have the tyres in front of us, so we're only looking at the stop and not at the monitors behind us".

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