It’s been revealed that the aftermath of Sir Lewis Hamilton’s collision with Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix measured a jaw-dropping 45G, leaving no surprise as to why the seven-time World Champion was afraid of breaking his back.
Both Hamilton and Alonso made excellent starts at Spa-Francorchamps, with the former team-mates running second and third along the Kemmel straight.
As they neared Les Combes, Hamilton who was in third at the time, swooped to the outside of the Alpine F1 Team driver to attempt an overtake.
The seven-time World Champion judged the move completely wrong and cut across the front of the Spaniard at the apex of the corner.
The resulting impact saw the rear of Hamilton’s W13 go skywards, with Hamilton’s car performing somewhat of a nosedive after going almost completely vertical.
Hamilton’s impact back with the circuit was measured at 45G, something which resulted in damage to the car, leading to his first DNF of the season.
Mercedes F1 Team’s strategy director James Vowles revealed the incredible figure during a team debrief Q&A, as well as that the 37-year-old is okay after the incident.
“It was a large, large impact,” Vowles revealed.
“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. 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.”
The power unit from Spa has been sent back to the team’s Brixworth factory for investigation, after concerns were raised over the health of it.
Annoyingly, the power unit was only just fitted prior to last weekend, with it being his last legal engine of the season.
If the team opts to fit Hamilton with another new power unit, then it would involve a grid penalty.
Vowles added that the team “noticed almost immediately” that coolant was flying out of Hamilton’s car, resulting in rapidly increasing temperatures for the power unit components.
This was actually the reason why the Mercedes driver was stopped by the team, to prevent any further damage.
“There are enough photos floating around the internet to show just how high the car was and how it landed, and the impact was large,” Vowles added.
“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.”