Lewis Hamilton was missing ‘chunk’ of floor – Mercedes

Mercedes has revealed that Lewis Hamilton was missing a “chunk” of the floor of his W10 during Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton started from pole position but relinquished the lead at the start to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who went on to dominate the 58-lap encounter.

Hamilton was never in a position to threaten Bottas’ position and instead had to briefly contend with Max Verstappen, as the Red Bull driver closed in after the pit stop phase.

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The British driver went on to keep Verstappen behind to complete a 1-2 for Mercedes, with the team revealing post-race that his W10 had sustained damage (see below).

“We have discovered damage to Lewis' floor at the region of the left-rear tyre seal (in front of the rear tyre) which will have exacerbated the challenges he had with the car balance,” confirmed a Mercedes spokesperson.

“A chunk of the floor is missing, not sure how or why at this stage.”

Speaking before confirmation of the floor damage, Hamilton said: “I do have some ideas [on the pace loss] but I’ll wait to go over it with my engineers.

“Naturally it’s a little bit frustrating to lose position at the start when you’ve had a good weekend up until that point but that is how the game goes.

“I’ll just train and work hard to come back next time.”