The Mercedes Formula 1 team revealed that Lewis Hamilton’s car suffered a 45g vertical impact after his first-lap collision with Fernando Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The crash occurred at Les Combes on the opening lap, with Hamilton attempting to take second place on the outside of the alpine racer’s entry portion of the corner.
However, Hamilton did not give Alonso enough space in the right hand turn and as a result his right rear wheel ran over Alonso’s front left and sent the car flying.
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Alonso described him as an “idiot” over the radio, and Hamilton accepted that he was to blame for not giving the Alpine driver enough space.
The 45g impact occurred as the car landed in the run-off area, with Hamilton continuing at high speed until told to slow down and stop later in the lap.
The impact activated the medical alert traffic light, so the driver must go to the medical center. As Hamilton “initially refused”, according to the FIA stewards, he received a formal warning.
“It was a big, big shock,” Mercedes chief strategy officer James Vowles said in a race briefing video released by the team.
“It was measured at 45G on the car’s SDR recorder, which is very large in a vertical load.
“He will be fine, he will fight again in Zandvoort. I think mainly because of him he is frustrated, frustrated because he had a very fast racing car and it was possible to get on the podium, but he, like all of us, is here to fight and keep moving forward.
Mercedes has yet to reveal the extent of the damage and whether it could lead to penalties given concerns over the power unit and also the gearbox, the latter thanks to this year’s rule changes allowing four gearboxes per driver, per season instead of the previous six. gearbox racing rule that allowed changes after a retirement without a crash on the grid.
Vowles confirmed that the car lost coolant on impact, prompting the instruction to retire. But he said the damage was still being checked.
“There are enough photos floating around the internet to show how high up the car was and how it landed and the impact was big,” Vowles said.
“What we noticed almost immediately after impact with the ground was a loss of coolant. In fact, you can see on Alonso’s board that the coolant is flying towards him and then you started to see the temperatures rising quite quickly and that was the main reason for stopping him on track.
“Now it will take a few days to go through all the components. Clearly there will be overloads on suspension components and gearboxes and we need to make sure we understand the full scope of what is required before Zandvoort.”
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