The crash involving Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was a pretty big one and many feel that Lewis was fortunate to have been able to continue in the race without any major damage. Their trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, has now revealed how close Lewis was to a DNF as quoted by F1’s official website
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0:00 - Did The Red Flag Save Lewis Hamilton?
1:27 - Fast Feed
I'm your host Dillon Shelley and first up on Formula World:
Did The Red Flag Save Lewis Hamilton?
Shovlin started off by explaining how they had predicted to catch up with Charles Leclerc with two laps to go
“From our planners’ view in the race, who were forecasting it live, we were looking at catching [Charles Leclerc] up two laps to go”
He also confirmed that the tyre drop-off they expected during the final laps for Lewis didn’t happen, helping him to close Leclerc down at a consistent rate
“When we thought it was on I’d say was five laps into that [push]. You normally see the drop on the tyres, but you could just see Lewis holding this eight-tenths advantage to Charles every lap and Lewis just wasn’t dropping off and the balance was happy”
He then confirmed that Lewis would have suffered a DNF had it not been for the red flag
“We’d failed the rim where we’d had the contact on the front-left, so that would have been a DNF had it not been red-flagged”
He signed off by revealing that the rest of the damage was relatively minor
“The rest of the damage was actually remarkably little. It was a tyre temperature sensor that had got knocked loose, so it was waggling around, but amazingly, it’s the least important part on the front wing - and it was the only one that broke”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has pointed out that they “were quicker than anyone else on the mediums, which [they] did not expect. It was impressive” [F1]
His team principal Mattia Binotto feels that “after the race in France the whole group reacted well”
They know they “are not yet at the point to be fighting for the top places on a regular basis, as there are two cars that are faster than [theirs]. But it’s important that [they] are working in the right direction”
When Honda F1’s technical director Toyoharu Tanabe “first saw the images of [Max Verstappen’s] car being lifted, [he] thought there was a lot of damage” [Autosport]
“But in reality it seems that the damage is less than what [they] first saw. However, the actual damage cannot be known from its appearance when it is installed in the car”
“So [they] would like to send it back to HRD in Sakura and check it before making a decision”, Tanabe confirmed
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has stated that they “are all for hard but fair racing and not for irresponsible actions, as [they] classify this action of Hamilton” [RTL]
He added that “it was of a low level but anyway, that's just the style of the house”
F1’s managing director Ross Brawn pointed out that “we saw the title protagonists go wheel-to-wheel once again, but this time it ended in a collision, which ended Max’s race” [F1]
“It was a massive relief to see him climb out of the car and walk away before he went to hospital for precautionary checks”
He further feels that “it is something both drivers will reflect on. [He hopes they] can avoid those incidents in the future because we were denied a fantastic battle”
Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that “in the old days [they] would have said it was one of those things, a racing incident. It was clear that everyone was doing his best to win the championship” [Sportsmail]
“But if the stewards needed to get involved then they should have given Lewis more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds”
“Lewis was not in front at the point they collided. It wasn’t his corner. He was almost a car’s length behind. That’s why he hit him at the back not the front. Ten seconds was not right. The punishment did not fit the crime”, Bernie added
For McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo “it was great to see so many fans back in the stands” [F1]
“As a driver, it really means a lot to hear them cheering you on. There’s been plenty of McLaren caps in the grandstands too, so that’s awesome to see”
His team principal Andreas Seidl added that “there’s a lot to learn from this weekend - [they’ll] go away and analyse it thoroughly to see how [they] can improve the next time [they] try sprint quali”
Will the possible damage to Max Verstappen’s engine come back to haunt him and Red Bull later in the season?
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