That Australian GP loss is hurting Mercedes, and it’s hurting bad, as it was supposed to be that fairy tale start for the team which would have set their campaign rolling. But instead, suffered a loss at the hands of their arch rivals, in circumstances that Wolff and his team won’t be proud of.
While Ferrari made most of the VSC, Mercedes were found wanting as they had an apparent software bug, which told them that Hamilton’s car would have made it in time to still be the race leader after Vettel was done with his pit stop.
Initial investigation did suggest that it was indeed a software bug that caused Mercedes’ downfall, however, after further delving into the issue, Mercedes have found out that it was actually an offline tool that was at the heart of the problem.
The offline tool is used to calculate the delta times between cars staying coming into the pits and those staying out on the track during VSC.
“The issue isn’t really with the race strategy software that we use,” said Andrew Shovline, the trackside engineer.
“It was an offline tool that we create these delta lap times with, and we found a bug in that tool that meant that it gave us the wrong number.
“The number that we were calculating was around 15 seconds, and in reality the number was slightly short of 13 seconds, so that was what created our delta.
“That is why we thought we were safe. We thought we had a bit of margin and then you saw the result. We dropped out, we were in second place and it is very difficult to overtake and we couldn’t get through.” he added.
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Mercedes are dealing with the issue and want to ensure that something similar does not happen in the future.
“It is really about understanding everything that went wrong, gathering all the data, and invariably it is never just one thing,” he said.
“So there are elements that we can do better with calculating that, but we have also looked at it for the future. We are going to make sure we have more margin because we want to be able to cover for Vettel doing an amazingly good in-lap to the pits, or having an incredibly fast stop.
“So with any of these things, we look at what went wrong, work out how to solve it and then put the processes in place to make sure we don’t have a repeat.” he concluded.