Mercedes reveal if Carlos Sainz incident caused Lewis Hamilton DNF

Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire from the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the latter stages of the race.

The opening lap of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was scarily similar to last year’s race, with Lewis Hamilton being forced to cut the first chicane and go straight on to avoid significant contact with another driver.

Instead of Max Verstappen, this time it was Carlos Sainz who forced the 37-year-old off of the track, this time making contact in the process.

Hamilton was launched up into the air as he went over the raised kerb at the chicane, similar to his incident with Fernando Alonso in Spa, but unlike his battle with the Alpine driver he was not forced to retire as an immediate result of the airtime.

With only a few laps to go in the Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion was forced to retire from the race, which led to some fans to speculate whether Hamilton’s collision with Sainz had worse long term effects than initially feared.

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Mercedes have now addressed the suggestions that Sainz was the cause of their driver’s retirement, suggesting that it was a mechanical failure rather than damage.

“There was surprisingly little damage from that first lap incident,” explained James Vowles.

“The bib, the area under the car did take a massive impact as a result of it and that won’t be good. The front wing endplate again had a knock, but generally speaking it was fine aerodynamically.

“What happened at the end of the race is actually a loss of hydraulic pressure and had not relation or no bearing to that first lap incident.”

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In an attempt to positively reflect on Hamilton’s retirement, it was the first time in the 2022 season that a Mercedes car had been forced to retire because of a mechanical failure, which becomes an even more impressive statistic when you consider that Fernando Alonso was forced to retire from six races himself.

Hamilton has said that he is happy to see the back of the W13, with his 2022 car giving him no end of problems over the course of the season, and very rarely having the pace to challenge the front runners of Red Bull and Ferrari.

As the 37-year-old chases his record breaking eighth world title, Hamilton will be hoping that his team can provide him with a car capable of challenging Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on a regular basis.