Lewis Hamilton seems set to start from the pitlane for Sunday’s German Grand Prix, after Mercedes declared its intention to change the brakes on the Briton’s car.
Mercedes has decided to switch Hamilton to Carbone Industrie brake discs ahead of the race after he crashed heavily during the opening part of qualifying when his front-right brake – a Brembo disc failed, throwing him into the barriers at the Sachskurve, leaving him just 16th fastest.
However, a change of brake disc supplier would force a breech of parc ferme rules, meaning that Hamilton would be forced to start from the pit lane.
“I don’t think that we’ll be running the same brake material tomorrow [for Hamilton],” explained Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “There is no way you can analyse what happened and how to prevent that in the future within 12 hours, so the latest information is we will switch the brake material.
Wolff remains hopeful that the FIA will accept Mercedes’ breech of the parc ferme rules on the basis that the change in brake supplier comes as a safety measure, and allow Hamilton to retain his place on the grid.
“We have had a brake failure which means we are obliged to make sure that the car is running safe tomorrow,” he added. “What that could mean is switching the brake supplier, so whether this results in starting from the pit lane is not yet discussed and we haven’t got yet a decision on that…we’re discussing that with the FIA.”
Mercedes are still yet to confirm whether Hamilton’s car will require a gearbox change after his accident, which would see him demoted five-places on the grid.
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS