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When Two Mirrors Aren’t Enough

When Two Mirrors Aren’t Enough

Lewis Hamilton Testing At SepangPhotographs of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren have been doing the rounds recently, after it was spotted that the MP4-22 was carrying four rear-view mirrors, two attached to the monocoque and two on the sidepod. McLaren have explained that they were testing the Mercedes engine to pretty much destruction at a recent test, and added the mirrors to allow Hamilton a better chance of spotting engine smoke – a tell-tale sign that the power unit is about to let go. An engine that is intact is much easier to learn from than an engine that comes back to the garage in a million pieces.

However, this isn’t the first time this year that McLaren have added extra mirrors to the car. While viewing a video highlighted by the Sidepodcast crew, it is clear that the Woking team did something similar in a pre-season test. Towards the end of the video, the extra mirrors are clearly visible as Hamilton rolls out his garage in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton Pre-Season Testing Lewis Hamilton Pre-Season Testing

The relevant section begins at 7m25s and can also be viewed on YouTube by clicking this link.

Formula One, F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, Mirrors

Oliver White

3 comments

  • i’m not buying the engine story, they test engines to destruction in a controlled lab in the factory. not while the car is halfway across the world.

    my best guess is they’ve stuck some data gathering equipment in the 2nd pair. extra pitot tubes or similar, to track something they can’t in the windtunnel. like airflow disturbance when going round corners maybe?

  • Schumacher used to like having his mirrors slightly higher than normal because it apparently enabled him to better see his rear tyres. When McLaren were adjusting to Bridgestones in the pre-season testing, I assumed this was the reason for having multiple mirrors all over the shop. But now, well, I can’t think of any reason other than what you have already said.

    It is possible they saw something in Australia relating to the engine and without wanting to come all the way home, decided to test it in Sepang?

  • possibly, but they aren’t running their race engines during testing. and they’d have more chance of repeating the issue back in the UK, using the simulator switched to ‘Melbourne’ mode. not at a different circuit…while it’s raining.

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