Lewis Hamilton will not like Valtteri Bottas' comments for sure. During the Spanish Gran Prix the Finn complained about the black overalls for the massive temperature in the car. It is known that black attracts heat more that the other colors. Also, there have already been conversations about the Mercedes rebranding for the 2020 season, as the team chose to support the #BlackLivesMatter cause with Lewis Hamilton, coloring everything black, from the (former) Silver Arrows to the driver suits.
"These black overalls are f**cking hot” Bottas reportedly said in a team radio during the race. Not so nice from him.
“It was really hot in the car” the Finn explained aftet the race. “This year, it's been even hotter in the car. Obviously, we had to change the colour of the overalls. And it's known that black colour takes more of the heat, especially when there's direct sun.
“I don't know any number or facts, how much actually black versus white is in terms of temperature difference, but this year, it's been really hot in the car. And also there's a new homologation this year for the overalls, so they are thicker, and the underwear is thicker, so I don't know how much effect that has" continued Bottas.
“It was just so hot so I said, ‘Guys, you know that these overalls are way too hot.’ And for sure, white would be cooler in terms of temperature and today for example I lost three kilos in the race, which is quite a lot. And that's where it can start to affect performance. I know that from all drivers I'm one of the fittest if not the fittest, so I can take it, but it's never comfortable and there's always things that we can improve.”
There have already been speculations about the black livery being impactful on the W11 cooling, especially in the first round of the season in Austria, with Toto Wolff admitting that it could be a potential issue.
“At the end, the messaging and the marketing is very important, but if performance is being harmed, that’s obviously not great” said the team principal.
Anyway, strategy director James Vowles denied every impact of the livery: “But we can’t see any difference on our radiator temperatures or other temperatures of core systems within the car as the result of the paint colour externally".
The Black Lives Matter movement is still fully supported by Lewis Hamilton, as well as the end of racism movement, supported by the entire circus. Mercedes choice was big, rebranding everything in black color before the start of the season. It is unlikely, then, that Mercedes will switch back to the silver livery for this year.
True, Valtteri Bottas lost 3 kg during the spanish race, but this is something that also happens in races like Baharain. This season is also very exceptional: because of the pandemic, it started in July, with a lot of back-to-back races; a lot of Gran Prix are being held in different times of the year. The Spanish GP usually happens at the start of May, while Formula 1 has it's summer break in August.