ReutersLONDON (Reuters) — Formula One champion Mercedes said it is working hard to improve its cars’ cooling systems for future races after struggling with overheating at the Austrian Grand Prix over the weekend.
Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained in a team post-race debrief on Wednesday that the 2019 car is so tightly packaged that the radiators are too small to provide sufficient cooling in extreme conditions.
“We’ve got a lot of projects looking at this particular issue with the cooling, how we can improve that,” he said. “And that work started well before the race weekend in Austria and there’s a lot of people here busy with that. And we will get on top of that and make progress.”
Sunday’s race at Spielberg ended dominant Mercedes’s run of 10 wins in a row, and eight out of eight this season.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas finished a distant third on a hot afternoon, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton fifth in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“It all really goes down to the fundamental design of the car, where in the push for very, very tight packaging, we have ended up being undercooled overall,” Shovlin said.
“Fundamentally the car doesn’t have big enough radiators. It’s meant that we are carrying this issue where in the very hot races we will be struggling ... to keep the power unit cool enough that we don’t do any damage to it.”
Shovlin said opening up the bodywork improved matters, but it was 35 C in Austria.