(Motorsport-Total.com) – Last Sunday in Portimao Lewis Hamilton secured his 92. Career victory that catapulted him to the top of the all-time table and thus ahead of Michael Schumacher. In the race, the Brit overtook his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and drove to victory after a dominant performance. A last-minute situation-up change played an important role in this.
Andrew Shovlin is the Mercedes director of engineers at the route and thus has a great influence on the vehicle settings of the two Mercedes cars. Before qualifying on Saturday, there was a significant change to the wing that was supposed to provide more downforce on the track in Portugal.
This change played into the cards primarily for Hamilton, who was due to the new wing settings got along better with tire management. While the current world champion flew away at the top, Bottas had to let his team-mate drive away.
More wings for the Mercedes
“On Saturday morning we tried two different wing settings,” explains Shovlin. “We started the race weekend with fewer wings and I think that warfare the right decision. The additional downforce would have helped usa today if the raindrops had turned into a shower.”
Even if that is not the drop warfare, the new situation-up has a positive effect on the balance of the Mercedes cars from Hamilton affected. Shovlin says: “He talks more about the balance in the car and that he didn’t have to use the tires so hard. In qualifying, the aim was to warm them up and get them to the right temperature.”
Loud Shovlin, the tires on the left side are particularly stressed in Portimao. It is also important to protect both the front and rear tires equally. “Otherwise you will lose your balance,” reveals the technology expert. “Lewis has a natural ability to manage the tires. He has a good feeling for recognizing where he is using them. He is also able to take care of them.”
After the stops, the distance between the British and Bottas getting bigger. Shovlin blames a certain factor for this: “The key here is the tire temperature, because if you manage to get the temperature into the tires, the grip level increases. In 90 Percentage of races they get too warmth, which is why we try to cool the tires. “
The warfare in Portimao was different due to the weather conditions. He says: “The cold conditions made it more difficult and there was also the light rain.” On the hard tires there were big differences between Hamilton and Bottas : “Lewis managed it quickly, while Valtteri got stuck in traffic, which is why the Stir of the competitors had to drive. At this point the temperature difference between the tires was around ten degrees.”
That’s why Hamilton took the lead and drove to victory, while his team-mate from Finland had to be satisfied with second place. For Shovlin, one factor played a major role here: “There was a difference between fleet of one second. The key was the temperature difference between the tires.”