Lewis Hamilton told the media that he had a good feeling about his newly upgraded Mercedes, during the weekend’s practice sessions.
However on the drive to the grid prior to Sunday’s race, the seven-time world champion reported an issue with his brakes, explaining that the car is beginning to pull to one side when he applied pressure to his brake pedal.
With the Brit claiming the car may be undrivable, Mercedes mechanics went into overdrive, flooding onto the grid to repair Hamilton’s car, with the clock ticking down to the race start.
The mechanics performed a stunning job, getting the work done in half the time it should usually take, enabling Hamilton to push Max Verstappen all the way until the end of the race, coming home in a very impressive P2.
Martin Brundle has commended the work of the Mercedes mechanics, with the Sky Sports commentator having serious doubts about the time constraints they were under.
“I was amazed, it was very risky,” he said.
“There were still bits coming off of it after I even finished by grid walk.”
With so much being removed from the car, the Mercedes team had clearly decided to change the entire brake material on car number 44, this includes the pads and discs themselves.
Ted Kravitz explained the importance of this work being done, with the Circuit of the Americas being hard on the brakes, as Pierre Gasly worked out in qualifying with his lockup.
“The drivers have a really sensitive feel for the brakes around here, the circuit is very hard on brakes.
“So just to make sure, Mercedes have done something quite unusual and they have decided to change the whole brake material on both front right and front left,” Kravitz explained.
This is not the first time that we have seen teams race against time on the grid prior to a race.
The world was shown the brilliant of Red Bull’s mechanics at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2020, when Max Verstappen crashed on the way to the grid.
With the front of the car severely damaged the team decided to risk the on track repairs, changing multiple damaged parts in record time to get the Dutchman ready to race in the slippery, wet conditions of Hungary.