‘It was flapping’: Lewis Hamilton baffled by Italian Grand Prix damage

Sir Lewis Hamilton finished fifth at Monza despite having started P19.

Sir Lewis Hamilton had an incredibly busy yet enjoyable Italian Grand Prix last weekend, after taking a grid penalty for taking onboard a new power unit.

It’s been wondered if Hamilton was forced into taking a new power unit at the ‘Temple of Speed’ due to his collision with Fernando Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix, where his PU was sent to the team’s factory at Brixworth for a health check and examination.

Taking on a new PU saw the seven-time World Champion start from P19; however, the British driver put in an incredible shift to claim a well-deserved fifth place finish at Monza.

Hamilton’s strategy was key to his rise through the field, having been caught up in a DRS train early on.

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The Brit opted for a long first stint on the Medium tyres, before ending the race on the Softs.

The 37-year-old was considerably stronger by the time his tyres had warmed up, with tyre temperature having been an issue for Mercedes all season.

The peak of Hamilton’s race was on the second lap of his stint on the Soft tyres, where he pulled off an audacious move around the outside of Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris on the run into Curva Grande, one that set the Brit well on his way to a top five finish.

Astonishingly, Hamilton’s race could’ve ended by the time he made his way through the opening chicane, after picking up damage despite not touching “anybody”.

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“I didn’t touch anybody, I don’t think, but I saw some bits flying off other people’s cars that hit mine and I think that damaged the front flap over the tyre,” explained the Mercedes driver.

“Those things, I don’t even know what they’re for, but it was flapping.

“They get in the way of your view, that’s all.”

The British driver doesn’t think he could’ve finished any higher than fifth, even if the race had gotten back underway on the final lap following a Safety Car to recover Daniel Ricciardo’s car.

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The Brit was behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz; however, Hamilton doesn’t think he’d have been able to get past the Spaniard even if the race had restarted.

“The soft was starting to fall off a little bit and I think they stopped so they had new tyres,” added Hamilton.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to get past him but still, I really enjoyed the battle with everyone, slowly working away with this car. It was definitely a challenge from the beginning.”