Lewis Hamilton has crashed heavily out of the third phase of qualifying for this weekends European Grand Prix. Qualifying was red flagged as doctors rushed to the mangled McLaren of Hamilton immediately after the impact. It appeared from the onboard video that the front-right tyre failed, causing the British rookie to plough into the tyre barrier at approximately 150mph. Lewis initially started to move around within he cockpit, but took his time and getting himself out. By the time he was sitting in the head support it was a little clearer that all was not 100% with the championship leader, and Lewis was strapped down to a stretcher and carted off to the medi-centre.
At minimum, Lewis would have been considerably winded in the incident, and at worse he may have broken a bone. Team boss Ron Dennis has admitted the fault lies with the team as a gun that tightens the nut on the wheel failed. The wheel was not properly attached and thus it all went wrong as soon as he started to lean on it during a hot lap.
If Lewis is unable to race tomorrow McLaren will only be able to run Fernando Alonso as qualifying has begun. Test and reserve driver Pedro De La Rosa is on stand-by, but is highly unlikely he will be able to race. A decision on Lewis’s ability to race will probably be made tomorrow morning after doctors have observed him overnight.
More news will be posted as and when it is known.
Update: According to Ron Dennis, no broken bones, just a little sore. And just because James Allen keeps asking on UK ITV: Should Lewis be able to race, he will likely start in tenth. Qualy started again. Five minutes left.
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