Unlucky day for Mercedes in Baku, with the Stuttgart team taking home a 12th place with Valtteri Bottas and an unfortunate sixteenth place with Lewis Hamilton.
This sport. 💔 pic.twitter.com/s0zaj0GhqD— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 6, 2021
The World Champion looked set to take the title lead back when Max Verstappen finished his adventure on the Azerbaijan street circuit following a tyre failure with five laps to go.
The unfortunate accident of the Dutchman caused a red flag, which saw the drivers stay in the pitlane for a relatively long time, in which the FIA commissioners decided to restart the race from the starting grid, after a formation lap behind the Safety Car.
At the restart Lewis Hamilton went straight on at T1. At first everyone thought it was a standard of a tyre lock-up... but during a team radio, a devastated Hamilton asked to his engineer: "Did I leave the Magic on? I could have sworn I turned that off."
The Magic is a “magical” mapping, hence its name, because in a few simple moves on the steering - wheel it sets a series of parameters useful for the formation lap and laps behind the Safety Car and in Virtual SC.
After the race, Lewis Hamilton explained what was his point of vew on the unfortunate event:
"On the restart, I think when Checo [Perez] moved over towards me I clipped a switch and it basically switches the brakes off so I just went straight," said the 7-time World Champion.
"I had no idea that I'd even touched it."
"He touched a button and the brake balance changed," - explained Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff - "The brake balance went forward and basically the car doesn't stop."
"It's very hard to take. Mostly I'm just very sorry to the men and women on the team, who have worked so hard for these points. We will rebuild and come back stronger for sure." he added.
This is hard to take. We worked so hard this weekend to put ourselves into the fight after a really difficult start on Friday - only to leave with nothing.— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 6, 2021
Need a big reaction next time out in France 💪 pic.twitter.com/NLzncTGb7q
"Naturally, it's quite a humbling experience to be honest," - Hamilton explained to Sky Sports - "We've worked so hard this weekend to come back out of the top 10 and it was looking so good. I put everything on the line, I fought as hard as I could today."
Today was a humbling experience. We worked so hard to put ourselves back in the top 10 today after a rocky week here in Baku. We gave it our all today and a small error caused the brakes to switch off. Sorry to the team, we’ll come back stronger for the next race 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/oHy75S07L3— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 6, 2021