Lewis Hamilton lost seven seconds due to damage - Mercedes
Mercedes has revealed that Lewis Hamilton lost seven seconds worth of race time in the wake of his first-lap off during Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton sustained floor damage in a first-lap brush with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen, running off track in the process, but went on to win the race.
It gave Hamilton an almost unassailable 74-point advantage over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the title battle.
“When Lewis and Verstappen tangled at the start there was actually a reasonable amount of
damage to Lewis’s car in the subsequent collision,” said Mercedes’ technical boss James Allison.
“If you watch the race footage carefully, you’ll just see a strip of bodywork flying up past the camera and that strip of bodywork was a piece of Lewis’s floor disappearing from the scene.
“That strip of bodywork is a thing we call the wouvre panel and it runs down the outside edge of the floor.
“There was also a little bit of damage to the front wing endplate and these two things combined to give Lewis a loss of aerodynamic downforce equivalent to about point one of a second per lap.
“It might not sound a lot but if you remember that the race is 70 laps long, then over the course of that entire race, that’s worth about seven seconds.
“Remembering that at the end of the race Lewis was less than two seconds in front of [Sebastian] Vettel, you can see that those seven seconds are a meaningful amount.
“And it adds emphasis to the fact this was a very fine, very controlled drive that Lewis put in on Sunday, able to stay ahead of the Ferrari, showing good pace and good consistency despite carrying that damage throughout.”
Hamilton’s win was his 10th and Mercedes’ 13th from 18 rounds this year.