Lewis Hamilton was in familiar territory when the lights went out in Melbourne today, leading the pack from the start of the race and setting the pace early on in the season.
However, Romain Grosjean’s car breaking down in the middle of the race led to a mid-race VSC period as the marshals had to retrieve Grosjean’s car from the circuit.
Vettel had opted for a pit stop and rejoined the race ahead of Hamilton, much to the agony of the Brit who hadn’t received a heads up from the Mercedes team.
Post the race, Toto Wolff confirmed that a software issue prevented the Mercedes team from informing Hamilton about the Vettel threat.
“We thought we had about a three-second margin, so we need to ask the computers – and that is what we are doing at the moment.
“If we have a software problem somewhere, we have to fix it.
“I think the problem is within our system. Fifteen seconds is what you need and we had 12, which we thought was enough – but it wasn’t.” Wolff told Sky
Mercedes’s software system wasn’t upto the mark, especially while calculating gaps in a close race, something that Wolff feels needs to be addresses for the upcoming races.
“It is a situation we didn’t have yet with a special constellation of cars on track, so the gap that we needed was wrongly calculated by the system,” he said.
“The way the algorithms are set up, the way the computers are programmed, the green light was always enough for us to stay ahead. But then we saw the TV pictures and it wasn’t enough.” Wolff concluded.
Hamilton finished second on the podium with Vettel riding on a bit of strategy and a bit of that software mess up on part of the Mercedes to wipe that smile off Hamilton’s face.