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.