Mercedes confirms the cause of Hamilton’s Germany brake failure

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Mercedes has finally diagnosed the cause of Lewis Hamilton’s brake failure during qualifying for the German Grand Prix five weeks ago, confirming that the quality of the part itself was not the problem.

The Briton suffered a huge crash during the first part of qualifying at Hockenheim after losing control under braking. At the time, the team deemed it to be a right-front brake disc failure, with the exact cause being unknown. The shunt was severe enough to warrant a visit to the medical centre, where Hamilton was given the all-clear by the circuit doctors.

Mercedes confirmed that it would immediately investigate the issue with brake supplier Brembo, and released a statement in Hungary saying that no definitive cause had yet been defined.

However, the German marque has today confirmed that the issue was caused by the interaction between the structure of the brake material and the brake mounting on Hamilton’s car.

The full statement from Mercedes and Brembo reads:

“Following extensive joint analysis of the previously unseen failure mode experienced by Lewis Hamilton during Q1 at the German Grand Prix, Brembo and Mercedes have reached definitive conclusions concerning the cause of the failure.

“First of all, both parties can now confirm that the quality of the disc material was not a contributory factor. Instead, extensive analysis and experimentation has demonstrated that the specific interaction between the structure of the brake material in question and the brake mounting on the F1 W05 Hybrid was at the root of the failure.

“Countermeasures have already been applied to both the disc geometry and the mounting to ensure there can be no repeat of the failure. These developments allow the team to once again run Brembo brake disc material, should it choose to do so, in race conditions.”

The Briton will start today’s Belgian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid behind teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

You can watch the race live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET today.

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.