Mercedes reveal ‘system problem’ forced them to run extra cooling in Budapest

George Russell claimed his first F1 pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

George Russell claimed his first pole position in Formula 1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which led to him claiming back-to-back third-place finishes.

Russell’s pole came as a shock to many, with the Mercedes F1 Team having not demonstrated much pace to be proud of on Friday, where they languished in eighth and P11.

However, on Saturday Russell suddenly rocketed up the timesheets into P5, before claiming his maiden F1 pole.

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As well as being his first P1 start of his Formula 1 career, it was Mercedes’ first of the season.

The Silver Arrows are usually so dominant in qualifying; however, this season it’s been their biggest downfall.

Both Russell and Hamilton then had excellent races on Sunday, where Hamilton sealed the team’s second consecutive double podium finish, after claiming P2.

So, where did Mercedes’ sudden pace come from?

After the race, the team’s head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin, explained how they found performance in the W13, something they found “very exciting”.

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“We had to make a lot of changes overnight,” he said in Mercedes’ post-race debrief.

“We talked on Friday about some of the things we had done that had taken us in the wrong direction on setup.

“So, we lost the car balance, it became a mix of oversteer and understeer that the drivers were struggling with, we’d lost overall grip and then on top of that we were managing a system problem that meant we had to run a little bit more cooling than we would normally and also that was affecting our deployment.

“So, overall, there were quite a few things that contributed to it. We didn’t know that we were going to fix all those, we knew why we were doing each individual change, but it was very exciting to see the pace that both drivers had on Saturday in qualifying.”

Following the Hungarian GP, Hamilton has now stepped foot on the podium more times than Charles Leclerc in 2022, despite being sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.

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Going into the summer break, Mercedes still find themselves third in the Constructors’ Championship; however, they are rapidly closing down Scuderia Ferrari who are just 30 points ahead after 13 races.

The German team’s run of podium finishes shows that they are heading in the right direction, with just that elusive victory this season yet to be achieved.

Should they continue to make the rapid progress that they are, then Mercedes could be in the battle to win the Belgian Grand Prix, which takes place immediately after the summer break.