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Mugello exacted "a punishing toll" on Hamilton and Bottas - Mercedes

Mugello exacted "a punishing toll" on Hamilton and Bottas - Mercedes

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Mugello exacted "a punishing toll" on Hamilton and Bottas - Mercedes

Mugello exacted "a punishing toll" on Hamilton and Bottas - Mercedes

Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles has revealed that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas suffered during the Tuscan Grand Prix due to loads at Mugello being amongst "the very worst" in Formula 1.

Vowles claims the circuit took "a punishing toll" on the duo throughout the 59 laps, with a degree of assistance provided by the two red-flag periods that at least allowed them a breather.

Many corners of the medium-to-high-speed, high-downforce, 15-turn track resulted in forces of 4g and 5g on occasion. By comparison, astronauts experience around 1.7g-2g during a rocket launch.

“In terms of load on the driver the circuit is right up there with the very worst," explained Vowles.

"This year, in fact, we have a number of circuits that will be very difficult on the driver. Istanbul, coming a little bit later in the season, will be exactly the same.

"The stoppages helped them. It allows you to just get out of the car, rest, relax for just a short period of time and it just allows a little bit of a recovery.

"But ultimately it’s the muscles in your body that are suffering, especially in the neck and in the core and the punishment is the same, you are still going around there flat out through a high-speed sequence from turn 6 all the way to turn 9.

"That is nearly all full throttle with over 4 g worth of forces every time and that has a punishing toll on them."

Following his win, Hamilton revealed the circuit was "one of the toughest" to drive, with Vowles remarking that "both commented afterwards that it was exhausting".

He added: "It was both a very mentally and physically draining race.

"Ultimately, both drivers train in between grands prix for the level of strength required, both from the core and the neck, for somewhere like Mugello. And their fitness was exactly the right level to deal with that circuit.”

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