After two disastrous street races, Mercedes have a mountain to climb. Although they have been on the podium in every edition of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, that statistic changed after Sunday.
With Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finishing outside the points, Mercedes’ technology director, Mike Elliott answered questions from their fans. During their regularly scheduled post-race program titled “The Debrief,” he discussed changes to avoid mistakes like Hamilton’s in the future. In addition, the Brackley-based outfit also responded to a comment on a change to their steering wheel layout.
Mercedes admit considering a change in the steering wheel layout
With Elliott admitting Hamilton accidentally hit the ‘brake magic’ button at the restart in Baku, Mercedes received a comment from a fan on YouTube. The fan asked if the ‘brake magic’ switch will be altered, to which the Silver Arrows responded by saying it’s not an option that’s being ruled out.
Mercedes’ response read, “Changing the steering wheel layout isn’t something that can change overnight but it’s something we’re actively looking into.”
Although altering a steering wheel might seem simple, there’s a lot of technicalities involved. While Elliott admitted they will make changes, the hectic schedule suggests it could take a while for them to come into effect.
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Elliott: We need to take our share of the blame
Although Elliott revealed Hamilton took the blame after the race, he believes the team need to take blame as well. He also pointed out what separates the Briton from other drivers on the grid.
The 47-year-old said, “I know speaking to Lewis yesterday that Lewis sort of feels a chunk of blame for that, but the reality is Lewis makes so few mistakes and that’s what really sets him apart from some of the other drivers.
“It’s our duty to try and give him a car where it’s more difficult for him to make mistakes. We need to take our share of that, look at how we can improve that and that’s something we will put in place for the next race.”
While the Silver Arrows need to find a solution quickly, the French Grand Prix inches closer. Mercedes need a strong showing in Le Castellet to close the gap to Red Bull, while Hamilton needs to finish above Max Verstappen to stay in the hunt for his eighth world title.
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