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Mercedes confirms the cause of Hamilton’s Germany brake failure

Aug 24, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT

Germany F1 GP Auto Racing AP

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.

  1. worknman24hours - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Here it is in normal speak.

    The caliper shifted in it’s mount ( due to a defective design feature-one that allowed the caliper to overstress it’s mounts) causing the brake pad to not release properly and the front brake failed.

    Surprise,it was Mercedes fault!

    The press release also states the pad material had a contribution which might well have been that it became too sticky when super heated.

    Amazing that this would be part of the design of the caliper mount but I guess the pad material has to give just enough to not make those mounts flex when superheated next to the brake disc.

    Brembo probably redid the structure of the pad to add some give at high temps on the initial disc contact moment.

    Everything matters on these cars=what a pain in the donkey.

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