Throttle actuator issue caused Lewis Hamilton pre-race scare

Mercedes work on Lewis Hamilton's car in Canada

Mercedes has revealed that a throttle actuator problem was the cause of the pre-race scare on Lewis Hamilton’s car at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes worked on Hamilton’s W10 in the garage on Sunday morning in Montreal, explaining that a hydraulic problem detected post-qualifying was behind the setback.

Mercedes briefly feared that Hamilton’s car may not be ready in time for the start of the race, which he went on to win in the wake of Sebastian Vettel’s controversial penalty.

It has now diagnosed the problem and explained the processes that went on to ensure the component could legally be changed.

“We dropped the floor, we noticed there was some oil on the floor so somewhere there was a leak,” said Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin.

“We could also see on the data we were losing some hydraulic pressure.

“Now, the issue is that the cars are then in Parc Ferme overnight, we are not allowed to touch them or to investigate it further.

“So, that investigation moved to Sunday morning, when we are allowed to access the cars again, the mechanics can work on them.

“We had to take the power unit out. We traced the leak to the throttle actuator, and then we made a request to the FIA to change the throttle actuator and some of the associated hydraulics.

“So, that work was quite a big job though, there’s a lot to do within that. And it was pretty tight to get Lewis’s car back together for the start of the race.

“We are fairly happy we can do the work in that time. The issue when you have an unknown fault or a leak is you don’t know how long it is going to take you to find it, to identify it.

“We were able to get the car back together. Now, where we were at risk was if we then fired up and we found another problem, if the engine had to come out again, that’s when we would’ve got short on time and perhaps not even been able to start the race.”

Hamilton’s win was his seventh from the last nine races, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas winning the other two to maintain Mercedes’ streak of victories.