HOCKENHEIM, BALIPOST.com – Lewis Hamilton fears that a prolongation of Europe’s record-breaking heatwave could upset Mercedes bid for glory at their home German Grand Prix this weekend.
The defending five-time world champion, and current series leader, told reporters Thursday that he was hoping for rain and admitted that if the sweltering conditions continued Mercedes would be in trouble.
“I’d imagine, if it stays this hot, we’re going to be in trouble,” said Hamilton.
“We’ve got these hot races coming up, which are obviously not so easy for us so it’s going to be a challenge.
“It’s definitely a good thing if it rains! There’s not really much we can do (about cooling problems) as it’s a much bigger design issue that we have when it gets hot, so it’s not so easy to change… Hopefully this weekend will be ok.””
Hamilton enjoyed a famous victory in last year’s race when he won from 14th on the grid after title rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out of contention while leading in heavy rain.
But he struggled home fifth, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas third, in high temperatures at the Austrian Grand Prix last month when Mercedes were defeated for the first time this year.
Local weather reports recorded 40 degrees Celsius in the Hockenheim paddock on Thursday.
“Clearly it (cooling) is a big weakness in our package,” said Bottas.
“We have a new upgrade for the cooling systems so that should be more efficient — and should give hopefully quite a few degrees of margin, but I’m not sure anyone expected to be racing in 40 degrees.”
Bottas is 39 points behind Hamilton in the championship following the Briton’s home win at Silverstone two weeks ago, his seventh victory in 10 outings this year.
That spell of form has delivered his best start to a season. (AFP)