Lewis Hamilton forces Mercedes to embarrassingly reveal W14’s secret

Lewis Hamilton suffered a tough exit from FP3, as a crash in the barrier saw his car get lifted off the track by a crane, revealing intimate details about its design.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will have been frustrated to walk away from FP3 after crashing into the barriers but it might be his team who are more annoyed by the situation.

Having brought a new floor to the principality, Mercedes will have wanted to ensure they keep the specific details about their design under wraps.

However, as the W14 was airlifted out of the track by a crane, rivals on the grid were treated to a detailed look at the new set up, helping them work out the team’s secrets.

The crash brought the session to an early end, although Mercedes were able to return in qualifying, having fixed the damage incurred to the vehicle.

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The floor and front suspension changes were part of a sweeping change to the W14, as Mercedes fight to get back to their winning ways.

The biggest element that has been altered is the sidepods, with the team abandoning their ‘zero sidepod’ set up in favour of a more conventional design.

Mercedes had hoped to unveil the new design at Imola but had to abandon that plan after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was abandoned due to deadly flooding.

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Given the unique nature of Monaco, Mercedes aren’t expecting to get significant feedback from their performance this weekend but it will help them to start shaping their plans going forward.

Going into Sunday’s race, Mercedes are lining up in P6 and P8, although Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will have probably hoped for better, especially as they were outscored by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

With Max Verstappen on pole and Fernando Alonso in P2, it’s going to require a significant amount of luck for Mercedes to secure victory.