Not infrequently we see drivers scrutinizing the competition’s cars in parc fermé. Anyone who thinks they only do that for the show is wrong, says a former Mercedes team member at ‘Motorsport-Total.com.’
Inspecting the competition’s equipment in that short time after qualifying or the race is a common sight. Michael Schumacher used to be looking at the other cars and with the current generation of drivers we see especially Vettel and Hamilton inspect the equipment of the competition.
Sometimes you wonder if it’s not for show, but according to Philipp Brandle, a former Mercedes team member who worked on Hamilton’s car until 2019, the seven-time world champion has a great eye for detail.
“Hamilton is a super spy,” said Brandle. “He watches everything very carefully. For example, there was a moment in the little room, where they had a drink before going on the podium, where he noticed that another rider had fewer cables hanging from his overalls. It was about the fact that weight can be saved, because every detail counts in Formula 1. ”
“He gave us feedback that the other team used a shorter wire harness and a smaller plug. Really anything where you can save a gram in Formula 1. He sees such details and that is then put into practice. ”
The share of the riders in these things is often underestimated because the engineers have no opportunity to go for a while in the paddock, so those short moments in the parc fermé must be optimally used.
Nico Hulkenberg, currently working as an analyst at ServusTV, also joins Brandle.
“You collect information,” said the German. “You look at how something is handled with another car and you pass that on to your team and of course you hope that they can do something with it to make the car faster.”
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