Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W13 collided with Fernando Alonso, resulting in a 45G impact landing during the first lap of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.
The seven-time F1 world champion made contact with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso as the duo battled for P4 at Les Combes.
Hamilton began the Belgian Grand Prix from position P4, sharing the second row of the grid with his old McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso thanks to grid penalties that had occurred earlier. However, as Hamilton attempted to pass Alonso on the outside at Les Combes on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, the two would clash.
Hamilton took off and hit the ground hard in the run-off area, losing water pressure instantly. After the incident, Mercedes instructed Hamilton to stop and pull over.
The Brit later received a warning from the stewards after initially refusing to visit the medical center after the collision activated the FIA medical warning light signal that forces a visit.
His power unit was afterwards delivered back to the Mercedes HPP plant in Brixworth, as was previously stated, where it is still being evaluated. For the Belgian GP weekend, the V6 engine was brand-new, and if it cannot be used any longer, Hamilton will be required to serve a fourth infraction and, as a result, a grid penalty in a forthcoming race.
The gearbox carrier was broken, and the internal components have also been checked out.
“It was a large, large impact,” Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles said in a team video.
“It was measured at 45G on the SDR recorder in the car which is very big on a vertical load.”
Despite suffering a “big hit” on the first lap of the Spa race, Mercedes has guaranteed that Lewis Hamilton will be in good health for Zandvoort.
“He will be okay, he will be back in Zandvoort fighting,” Vowles added. “I think primarily for him he is frustrated, frustrated that he had a very fast race car, and a podium was possible but he, like all of us, are here to fight and continue moving forward.”
According to Alonso’s onboard camera, Vowles noted that Hamilton’s Mercedes was clearly spraying coolant, which was a good indication of what was wrong.
“There is enough photos floating around the internet to show just how high the car was and how it landed and the impact was large,” said Vowles. “What we noticed almost immediately after the impact on the ground was a loss of coolant.”
“You can actually see on the onboard of Alonso that coolant really just flying out towards him and then you started to see temperatures rise fairly quickly and that was the primary reason for stopping him on track.”
“It will now take a few days to review all the components, clearly there is going to be overloads to the suspension components and gearboxes and we need to make sure to understand the full extent of what’s required before Zandvoort.”
Vowles also noted that Mercedes, which had been a second off in qualifying, had equaled Ferrari’s race pace in Belgium.
“The approach and philosophy of what you are doing in terms of prioritising race pace or qualifying pace, I think might be different between the two teams,” he said. “Obviously, the numbers are large, they are far more vast than we normally see, you would normally expect a tenth or two, not a second.”
“What I can say is that we are gaining to them on degradation in the race. So, part of it might be just how the tyres are being used and car performance, part of it is degradation.”
“The bias we’ve got is the one that is scoring points race on race… Clearly, though we have to improve our qualifying position because it is not just relative to Ferrari, we are also racing in a qualifying condition McLaren and Alpine as well.”
“In order to be racing at the front, in order to get our first win this season we have to make sure that the qualifying improves from where it is and that’s the focus that hasn’t just been this race, we’ve been looking at it across the season, and will continue to do so.”