Hamilton's Potential Finishing Position In Australia Revealed By Allison

Friday, 29 March 2024 at 00:00
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Mercedes' technical director, James Allison, discussed in a recent debrief the position in which he would expect Lewis Hamilton to finish had he not had to retire from the most recent race.
It was clear from the beginning that the 2024 Australian Grand Prix wouldn't be Lewis Hamilton's weekend as he got knocked out of qualifying in Q2 and had to start the race from P11.
The seven-time World Champion started the race pretty decently, gained a couple of positions, and used a different strategy than most drivers, but we didn't get to see how he made it work as he had to retire on lap 15 due to engine failure.
Speaking on Mercedes's Australian Grand Prix race debrief, the German team's technical director, James Allison was asked whether he knew the cause of the engine failure, and he responded:

"We do not. The power units will return to the safe hands of the guys at Brixworth, who will be able to figure out what let go."

"All we know is the symptoms at the time, which was a rapid loss of oil pressure followed by a shutdown of the engine to protect it because when you know, you've got catastrophic loss like that, the best thing you can do for the future is kill it there and then. And then you have not just got like a load of molten metal."

In relation to where the 39-year-old could have finished the race, the Briton estimated a P8 (four points) would be possible for him. That might have become P7 after Russell's retirement and P6 after Alonso's penalty.

"We know from his first stint that he was going along okay on those soft tires, it was never going to be a long stint, but the car hung onto them adequately well compared with the estimates we had made beforehand."

“He was not really on the medium tire for long enough before retiring for us to have much intelligent things to say about that. But if you just take George’s pace as a guide and say Lewis could have matched that then my guess is he would have been on for something like four points.

Nevertheless, it would have been an underwhelming result for a driver who has won the most races and achieved the most podiums out of anyone in F1 history.
Hamilton showed his dissatisfaction with the season's progress, telling the media after the race at Albert Park Circuit that this was "the worst start to the season" he had ever had.