Lewis Hamilton had a nightmare race at the Baku City Circuit on Sunday in direct comparison to Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg who was having a flier up at the front.
After finding himself in an engine setting that left him down on power, no matter how hard the Brit tried to resolve the technical issue himself from the cockpit, he was unable to find the right switch to rectify the situation, which was clear from team radio was something Hamilton found increasingly frustrating.
“I was in an engine mode which made it feel like I was driving without ERS for a long time. We have hundreds of different combinations of switch position on the wheel and, no matter how much you study, there’s no way to remember them all.
Current regulations stipulate that the drivers engineer is unable to provide him with the necessary information to resolve the issue over team radio anymore, which has sparked fierce debate on whether the restriction has gone too far, following this weekend’s events.
“I was driving around looking at my screen trying to work out what was wrong – but I couldn’t see anything I’d done differently. It’s such a complicated, technical formula we have now and I don’t really see the benefit in preventing us from being able to fix these things out on track.”
Due to the continuing problem, Hamilton was unable to really put up any sort of challenge during the race, which not only ruined the grand prix for him, but also robbed the fans of seeing him fight his way through the field from tenth. The current world champion was disappointed he could not be part of the show on Sunday.
“It was just a real shame that I couldn’t race. If I’d been able to resolve it, I might have at least been able to be a part of the show and fight with the guys ahead of me.
“With about ten laps to go it sorted itself out – but by that time there was nothing to be gained or lost as I was more than ten seconds behind the guy in front and the same ahead of the guy behind.”
Hamilton was able to salvage some points finishing in fifth place, but is now once again 24 points behind his team-mate in the drivers’ championship, after having reduced the margin to just nine points the race before.
It just goes to show how much luck plays a part in F1 racing, and the Brit will aim to turn the luck back in his favour as we head to Austria.
“I actually turned the engine down at the end to save it, knowing that I don’t have so many left for the season. But it wasn’t to be today, so the result is what it is. I’ve got points for P5 and now I’ll try to bounce back at the next race.”