It was after an enormous wheel lock within the first nook that Lewis Hamilton misplaced any alternative to win the Azerbaijani Grand Prix and regain the lead within the championship. Beginning within the entrance row for this restart following the pink flag attributable to the accident of Max Verstappen, the Briton blocked his two entrance wheels as quickly as he took the brakes and needed to pull straight into the loophole.
Left behind the pack, he instantly knowledgeable his crew of what he thought was the reason for his mishap: the well-known “magic button” utilized by Mercedes for braking. “Did I go away the ‘magic’ on? I may have sworn I turned it off”, he stated on the radio. What button was he speaking about and what’s its perform? Response parts.
The magic button
We’ve got heard of this button a number of occasions in radio conversations, generally known as the “magic palette”. Final 12 months, George Russell made it clear when he changed Lewis Hamilton for the Sakhir Grand Prix. The “brake magic” is definitely a button positioned on the again of the steering wheel. This can be a very good instrument to assist riders shortly generate warmth within the entrance tires.
When F1 entered the hybrid period in 2014, it was additionally completed with the necessity to overhaul the single-seater braking system in thoughts. Certainly, extra digital help was wanted for brake distribution, given the significance of vitality restoration by way of the MGU-Ok.
The brake-by-wire system.
Consequently, the groups needed to get used to utilizing a brake-by-wire system (above) with separate maps and created inside software program to handle the distribution of the brakes between the entrance and the rear. , whereas considering the extent of vitality recovered by the MGU-Ok.
Whereas beforehand the distribution was managed by a handbook lever contained in the cockpit, this course of has been moved to the steering wheel. The pilot should choose choices on the dials, a manipulation that’s noticed frequently when the F1 broadcasts pictures from on-board digicam.
The wheels on the steering wheel of the Mercedes W12.
The pilot has just a few instruments on this regard. At Mercedes, there’s a dial and two buttons used on the steering wheel for brake distribution (in blue beneath), and a 3rd dial to pick out the quantity of engine braking.
An outline of the steering wheel of the Mercedes W12.
Nevertheless, the “magic button” takes priority over all the above, and urgent it distributes the braking way more ahead than is often completed in racing situations. It shifts about 90% of the braking to the entrance when often a pilot selects a stage between 55 and 60%. As soon as activated, the “magic button” additionally takes precedence over the MGU-Ok’s vitality restoration.
It’s actuated in such a means as to switch extra warmth generated by the brakes to the tires, in order that the casings attain their working window extra shortly than in a standard case. Within the case of Lewis Hamilton, he used the “magic button” through the formation lap to lift his entrance tires in temperature.
The method labored and we have been in a position to see it clearly as soon as positioned on the beginning grid, the place smoke was escaping from the entrance brakes whereas he waited. As soon as stopped, Hamilton disabled the “magic button” on his steering wheel after which ready for the beginning process. Nevertheless, upon take-off and whereas inside Sergio Pérez, he by accident pressed the “magic button” which once more brought about the brake distribution to shift excessively ahead and brought about the wheels to lock.
Mercedes’ post-race scans will definitely make clear what brought about the seven-time World Champion to inadvertently reactivate this technique, which may then result in adjustments to the steering wheel structure in order that it would not occur once more.