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Tech insight - the changes to help Hamilton combat start woes

15 Nov 2016

Spotted in Brazil were these changes to the rear of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes steering wheel - changes designed to help the Briton get on top of his start issues…

Standing starts have been a real issue for Hamilton this year, with the Briton losing multiple positions off the line. As recently as Japan Hamilton dropped six places from his starting position, putting him firmly on the back foot and prompting an in-depth look into what could be done to help him. As this illustration indicates, Mercedes have made a couple of key ergonomic changes, with the team modifying the shape and positioning of the clutch and gear-change levers behind the wheel. The up-shift gear-change paddle (left arrow) has a new extension very similar to the one used by team mate Nico Rosberg last season, bringing it closer to the clutch (right arrow), which has been given a triangular-shaped wedge grip to improve finger control. Sadly, with the Interlagos race starting under the safety car, we didn’t get to evaluate the efficacy of Mercedes’ latest modifications.