Here’s the onboard video showing the moment when Lewis Hamilton’s car suddenly slowed during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It seems the McLaren driver may have caused the problem himself by accidentally hitting the pit lane speed limiter button with his left thumb.
The button is the second from the left on the steering wheel. Watch the video below and judge for yourself…
Hamilton reportedly admitted that he made a mistake, but McLaren have denied he made the remarks.
Update: McLaren have explained what happened to Hamilton:
“We can confirm that the temporary gear shifting problem Lewis suffered on lap eight of the Brazilian Grand Prix was due to a default in the gearbox that selected neutral for a period of time. It was not as a result of Lewis pressing an incorrect button on his steering wheel.”
“It was a gearbox problem, and it went into forced-neutral and changing down seemed to rectify it – it might be mechanical, but we doubt it. If it was something mechanical, they usually don’t fix themselves. It could be electronics software – but there’s no evidence in the analysis to support that. Could be a sensor – but again, there’s no evidence in the data recordings.
“So it would appear that the barrels that change gear went out of control – and out of control of the driver – and that’s probably hydraulic.
“That could be either a very small Moog servo control valves that were interfered with by a tiny piece of debris or they are sensitive to magnetic interference – something generated a magnetic field which caused the valve to misbehave.”