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Mercedes reveals cause of radio and pitwall meltdown

Bottas-Hamilton-Mercedes
©WRI2

In addition to having to deal with a furiously fast Ferrari duo, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas also had a communication failure to contend with in yesterday's Hungarian GP.

Early on in the race, the Mercedes squad lost much of its radio and data systems, a meltdown which compromised its drivers' race but was eventually traced to a cracked fiber optic cable.

"It was a local hardware issue," explained Toto Wolff. "We found a crack in a fibre optic cable, that made us fly blind."

"Our whole comms and data systems broke down .We didn't have any communications on the 'Fantasy Island' - that is the middle thing we have – and on the pit wall.

"So no radio comms, no data, no TV feed. We somehow managed to get it back occasionally – and that obviously penalised us strongly.

"So there were conversations at times that Lewis heard and then there were conversations he didn't hear. A difficult one."

Dealing with the consequences of the sudden IT failure required a concerted effort which included the engineers sitting behind their computers at Mercedes' base in Brackley.

"It was an incredible team play," added Wolff.

"We had lots of people in Brackley and in Brixworth who were our redundancy systems, feeding us massive amounts of information over to us on the radio.

"At times there were six or seven different people speaking to James [Vowles, Mercedes strategist] and we were trying to make the right decisions. That was a really great team effort."

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