The flame was put out as soon as the car started running, but it was a concerning sight. Hamilton explains what actually happened.
“I had a separation of my front brake temperatures by nearly two hundred degrees,” said Hamilton.
“So I was pushing them very hard to bring the one that was down equal, and I got them up to a thousand degrees, and I tried to cool them through the last corner and all the way to the start.
“And I got to the grid and there was a lot of smoke coming, and I was definitely worried as I think I saw a flame at one stage, which is not good, because that burns all the interior of what is in the upright.
“So fortunately the start got underway relatively quickly, and I didn’t have a problem from there on, but it was definitely on the limit.”
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Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says the team was not worried.
“Not particularly,” said Shovlin when asked if the team was concerned.
“The brake cooling is relatively closed up here, you don’t do a lot of braking, so you need to close the ducts to actually get the temperature.
“And the problem is if they’re working, there’s not a lot of air going through. As soon as you get going, it’ll go out.
“The worry is only whether you burn some of the carbon work, the cake tins, all the carbon work round the upright. And that can cause a bit of grief.
“It didn’t look particularly bad, but saying that we’d rather not have it than have it. But it wasn’t causing a great deal of panic, to be honest.”