F1 news: Lewis Hamilton promise, Robert Kubica sabotage, Mercedes engine modes explained

Mercedes promise to learn from mistakes

Mercedes have insisted the glitch they suffered during the Australian Grand Prix will only make them stronger as the season progresses.

Lewis Hamilton was leading the race before his pit stop but rival Sebastian Vettel benefitted from a timely virtual safety car which allowed him to jump the Brit and take the race win.

The Mercedes driver had not built enough of a gap to cover off the eventuality because his team told him he had already done so, which was the result of a fault in their calculations.

And while team boss Toto Wolff admitted the error had been a painful one, he is confident the team will bounce back in Bahrain.

“Back at base, we did what we always do after a tough weekend,” Wolff said.

“We made sure that we understand what went wrong and put a process in place to make sure that we don’t see a similar issue in the future.

“These painful moments are the real learning experiences. Mistakes become training.”

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Robert Kubica COULD sabotage me… but he won’t – Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin believes Robert Kubica will not deliberately make his life harder at Williams – even though he has the chance to do so.

Kubica, who has not raced in F1 since a horrific rallying crash in 2011, found himself in a off-season seat race with Sirotkin, as well as Paul Di Resta and Pascal Wehrlein.

But the Russian was judged to be faster and Kubica was instead given the reserve driver role.

And after former driver Jacques Villeneuve claimed the Pole could use his role to turn the team against Sirotkin by hindering development, the F1 rookie was forced to respond.

“Technically it’s possible,” Sirotkin told Sport FM.

“But I know Robert and he’s a good guy, so just as a person he would not do it.

“Plus, in your work you are trying to improve the car, not just improve it for yourself. So even if he wanted to, I think physically it would not be so easy.”

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‘Party mode’ exists in name only

Mercedes gone some way towards explaining away the “party mode” that became such a hot topic during the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was accused of turning his engine up in Q3 to overhaul Vettel, and when he claimed afterwards he had merely been “waiting to put a good lap in to wipe that smile off his face”, the Ferrari driver appeared unconvinced.

And the team have now admitted that they do indeed vary the power modes in the car and that “sometimes this qualifying mode will be used throughout qualifying, sometimes only in Q3”.

“It will be interesting to see how the storyline around engine modes develops as the season progresses, particularly when F1 reaches those more power-sensitive venues,” the team said.

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