Motor racing-Hamilton’s car took 45G hit in Spa crash, Mercedes say

By Thomson Reuters Aug 31, 2022 | 12:28 PM

(Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes took a 45G vertical hit in the first- lap collision with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, strategy director James Vowles said on Wednesday.

The seven-times world champion had told reporters on Sunday that he almost broke his back when the car pitched high into the air before coming down hard on the asphalt runoff area at Les Combes.

The Briton, who blamed himself for the collision, had been trying to overtake double world champion Alonso for second place.

“It was a large, large impact,” Vowles said in a Q&A team debrief of the race at Spa-Francorchamps, the first of a triple-header with Formula One back in action in the Netherlands this weekend.

“It was measured at 45G on the SDR (safety data recorder) in the car which is very big on a vertical load.

“He will be OK, he will be back in Zandvoort fighting,” added Vowles, who said Hamilton was mainly frustrated at wasting a podium possibility.

Hamilton was given a formal warning by race stewards for initially refusing to go to the circuit medical centre, which is mandatory when the car’s medical warning light is activated.

There was concern also for Hamilton’s power unit and gearbox, and possible grid penalties at Zandvoort if damaged — which would be a big setback given how difficult it is to overtake at the seaside circuit.

Vowles said there had been an immediate loss of coolant after the collision.

“It will now take a few days to review all the components, clearly there are 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.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)