Mercedes and FIA criticised for response to ‘horrendous’ Lewis Hamilton incident

Fernando Alonso and Sir Lewis Hamilton came together on the opening lap of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix.

Formula 1 fans on social media were not amused when Sir Lewis Hamilton was forced to get a fire extinguisher on his own at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The seven-time champion had started the race fourth behind Fernando Alonso, and he got ahead of him on the opening lap.

The 41-year-old, however, got into the slipstream of his former McLaren team-mate on the way down the Kemmel Straight into Les Combes.

The Spaniard got down the inside of Hamilton before, unsighted, the 37-year-old turned in, resulting in contact.

READ: Lewis Hamilton likely to take penalty at Monza rather than Dutch GP

Hamilton was launched up into the air, and his car came down violently, damaging the back end, and ultimately forcing him to retire from the race later on in the lap.

Mercedes measured their driver’s impact at 45G, and such force necessitates a medical check-up, according to the sporting regulations.

“If, after an incident, the Medical Warning Light signals that threshold forces have been exceeded the driver must be examined by the Event medical service without delay, the Medical Delegate will determine the most appropriate place for this examination,” reads Article 26.14 of the sporting regulations.

However, if there is a fire developing in the car, the FIA international sporting code asserts that marshals must “assist with the extinguishing of the fire” – no one was on hand to help Hamilton when he eventually stopped his car.

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Having put the fire out, the Briton, technically, should have reported to the medical centre for a check-up, but he refused this, and chose to walk back to the paddock instead.

The interesting question there is whether the medical car would have made its way round to Hamilton after he stopped at Blanchimont, had he decided to wait at a marshal’s post and wait for it.

However, the fact that no marshals guided or provided any assistance to Hamilton is what got on many fans’ nerves.

Some, however, disagreed, affirming that it was the 103-time race winner’s prerogative to comply with the rules and accept medical assistance.

READ: Lewis Hamilton sends cheeky message to Fernando Alonso after rant

Alonso labelled Hamilton an “idiot” for the crash, while the Mercedes driver accepted that the incident was his fault in the media pen.

Once he had calmed down, the double world champion acknowledged that it was an easy mistake to make on the opening lap of the race.

The stewards briefly investigated the collision, and found that neither driver was at fault.