Mercedes director Toto Wolff is not bothered by Lewis Hamilton’s failure to win a race so far in 2013, believing that it is too early in the season to write off his chances.
Hamilton has scored three podiums in 2013, but teammate Nico Rosberg has already won a race – the Monaco Grand Prix – causing many to question the 2008 world champion’s pace. However, Wolff is sure that Hamilton will bounce back, although he concedes that the Briton may have been surprised by Rosberg’s results.
“A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico’s pace was compared to Michael. Now, he has proved that he is really fast, and it’s surprised Lewis, but I don’t think it’s a problem,” Wolff told Totalrace.
“We saw just how much in Canada, where he [Hamilton] would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt. I don’t think there’s any reason to say that he’s having a problem or difficulties.”
Wolff believes that, for Hamilton, it is just a case of settling into the Mercedes setup.
“It’s too early in the season. He’s just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years.”
Hamilton will be keen on breaking his duck at the next race, the British Grand Prix, which he won in front of his home fans in 2008.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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