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Bottas blames heat absorbing black overalls for Spain overheating problems

Bottas blames heat absorbing black overalls for Spain overheating problems

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Bottas blames heat absorbing black overalls for Spain overheating problems

Bottas blames heat absorbing black overalls for Spain overheating problems

Valtteri Bottas has said the black Mercedes overalls are causing him to overheat during races after losing three kilos during the Spanish Grand Prix.

It is a known fact that some colours are better at reflecting heat while others absorb and retain heat. White and black are the two extremes, with white reflecting and black absorbing.

When Mercedes revealed the revised all-black livery in a bid to show support to the growing movement to end racism, questions were asked as to whether engine cooling would be a problem.

What nobody asked, was what effect the drivers would experience in switching from white to black overalls.

During the Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas reported via the team-radio that he was suffering, and after the race the Finn elaborated on his problems.

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He explained: “It was really hot in the car. This year it has been even hotter in the car. Obviously, we had to change the colour of the overalls and it’s known that black colour takes more of the heat, especially when there’s direct sun.

“I don’t know any numbers or facts how much it [changes], black versus white in terms of temperature difference, but this year it has been really hot in the car."

However, it is not only the colour that has changed for 2020, and Bottas explained the new FIA homologation for race suits could also be playing a part in the increase in cockpit temperatures he is experiencing. He added: “Also there has been a new homologation this year for the overalls, so they are thicker and the underwear is thicker. I don’t know how much of an effect that has, but it was just so hot so I said ‘guys, the overalls are way too hot’.

“For sure, white would be cooler in terms of temperature and today as an example, I lost three kilos in the race which is quite a lot.

"That’s not where it can start to affect performance, but I know that from all the drivers I am one of the fittest, so I can take it, but it is never comfortable and there is always things we can improve.”

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