Mercedes found no damage from Hamilton-Alonso contact

Lewis Hamilton follows Fernando Alonso to Miami. USA, May 2022. Credit: PA Images

Mercedes says Lewis Hamilton’s contact with Fernando Alonso at the start of the Miami Grand Prix caused no damage.

Hamilton took a knock from Alonso at the start of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix which made him suspect there was damage to the left rear of his Mercedes.

Both drivers continued after wheel-to-wheel contact, with Mercedes crediting the feature for allowing Hamilton to escape with his healthy W13.

Speaking at Mercedes’ Miami Grand Prix debriefing, technical director Mike Elliott, when asked if Hamilton suffered any damage in that collision with Alonso, said: “The answer to that question is no, We do not think so.

“The contact was wheel to wheel and as always we have a lot of engineers looking at the data coming out of the car, so the aerodynamicists are looking at the pressure taps on the floors and the fenders, they are looking at the rod loads of thrust and our chief engineer will look at all other suspension loads and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to.

“So we can very quickly tell if there is a problem with the car and if there was no problem to be found.”

Hamilton then finished the P6 Miami Grand Prix, with the timing of the safety car once again unpalatable to him, even though it was exactly what teammate George Russell demanded.

Going long in his first stint on the hard tyres, having started P12, Russell was hoping for a safety car that would get him back in the game – his prayers were answered and the Briton finally finished P5.

When asked if Russell was still willing to go long, or if it was just the circumstances, Elliott replied: “I think you can tell that by the fact that we put the hard tires on, we kept our options open. open.

“Our plan has always been to be able to run a lag strategy against the cars around us, so by a lag strategy what I mean is if you have a car that you think may have a speed advantage, you want to race a different strategy from the cars around you.

“That way if you get caught on a DRS train you’ll still have a part of the run where you get clean air when the others ‘pit’ and then you can run for a long time and that’s what we had in spirit with George.

“On top of that there’s also the potential safety car advantage. If the safety car goes out after the others have ‘pitted’ you end up with a clear advantage and obviously that’s how it is. that it happened for George.

“I have to say George had a fantastic race, starting on hard tires while his competitors around him were on medium.

“Okay we lost a few places at the start but George kept his head up he did all the right things he waited for the tires to come his way and as we started to get the tires hotter hard and the medium tires started to degrade, we saw George’s speed advantage and he was able to squeeze through the pack and do a really good job.

“Finishing this race fifth from where we started is a fantastic achievement.”

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