Mercedes solve mystery of Hamilton’s broken seat


Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has revealed Lewis Hamilton’s seat was not broken during the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite complaints over team radio.

The seven-time champion seemingly battled the issue alongside overheating problems in his new W15 at the Bahrain International Circuit, with his team radio message telling race engineer Peter Bonnington that the seat had failed.

Yet upon further inspection, no such issue existed, as explained by Shovlin ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“We obviously got the car back, checked the seat straight away, and the seat was fine,” said Shovlin.

“Now, the seats are obviously designed to be able to be lifted out because in the event of an accident, the driver comes out in his seat and ultimately, the thing that holds the seat in the car is the driver who’s strapped into his seat belts.

“The only thing we can think is that if Lewis was ever so slightly loose, he moved a bit and maybe the seat came up, had a little bit of motion and dropped down again, because looking at it afterwards, there’s no evidence that anything’s broken, that it was in the wrong position.

“But fundamentally that whilst it might be a bit uncomfortable for the driver if they’re not really rigidly located in the car, fundamentally a failure of the seat doesn’t mean that the driver can come loose out.

“So they’re always safe. But as I said, it looks like this was something very subtle that maybe there was a bit of motion, and then it settled down and was fine for the rest of the race.”

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