Mercedes revealed tyre removal failure

Mercedes reveal tyre removal failure

Mercedes Formula 1 team has recently released a video on the issue that led to Valtteri Bottas retirement at Monaco Grand Prix. The video shows that the team was able to remove the tyre two days after the race.

The short clip from the Mercedes’ Brackley factory shows the team’s mechanic working on the car. The wheel stuck while the team tried to take it off but failed during the race because nut was stripped.

The team decided to work on the car at UK rather than on tracks. The decision was made so that the team could understand the phenomena and perform better next time.

“The whole process is one and a half seconds, that’s it,” said the Mercedes chief strategist, James Vowles. “That’s the process of removing a nut, changing a wheel and refitting the new nut.

“As a result of that, as I am sure you can tell, the margin for error is very small and if just the slightest problem happens, it slows the stop down or potentially, in an absolute disastrous case, this happens.”

Vowles explained the issue faced at the Monaco. He revealed that the issue occured because the wheel gun was handled at a slight angle.

“Our nuts are what we call captive, they are maintained within the wheel and the tyre, so as the wheel comes off the nut goes with it,” he noted.

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“This nut has to hold a wheel to the car such it can cope with 5g forces in braking and laterally as well.

“It’s a huge amount of force going through the axle and the nut and clearly we can never have it coming loose.

“So, the gun is an incredibly powerful gun, such that you can actually see the mechanics having to restrain themselves, holding themselves to the ground, otherwise they get rotated with it at the same time.

“Now, what happened is we came on slightly angled. So when the socket was now connected to the nut, it slightly angled relative to it. And as a result of that, now instead of distributing the load across all of the nut it was across a small section and that tore the metal clean off and in fact all of the metal was now removed from the nut.

“As a result of that, the nut was in place and we were unable to remove it.

“Clearly, it’s a circumstance that cost Valtteri dearly and cost the team dearly and one that we are going to put steps in place to mitigate.”

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