Mercedes: Three-element protection saved Hamilton’s life at Monza

Mercedes say the combined protection of three safety elements ensured that Lewis Hamilton walked away unscathed from his crash with Max Verstappen at Monza last weekend.

Hamilton and Verstappen’s latest run-in fortunately occurred at low speed, but the vertical motion of the Dutchman’s car as it made contact with the Mercedes led to the Red Bull sliding atop Hamilton’s W12.

The Halo cockpit safety device proved vital in preventing the Red Bull’s heavy right rear wheel in striking the head of the seven-time world champion, although images show that a partial impact did occur.

After last Sunday’s race, Hamilton complained of a sore neck, insisting he would likely visit a specialist ahead of next week’s Russian Grand Prix. But Mercedes is confident the Briton will be “fighting fit” for Sochi.

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“I am pleased to say he is doing well,” said Andrew Shovlin, the team’s trackside engineering director in Mercedes’ Monza debrief on YouTube.

“He has a sore neck, you will have seen in the photographs just how far he got pushed forward during the incident, but he has got a bit of time to recover, and he has got Angela with him, his physio, she will be looking after him as she does, so we are hoping we will see him in Russia fighting fit.”

Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles revealed the three protective elements that spared Hamilton from a bad fate, starting with the all-important and providential Halo.

“I’ll just add that really this is a testament to all the safety that has been put in place in Formula 1 across the last few years,” said Vowles.

“The Halo truly saved his life in this instance, the helmet took the impact and took it well without damaging him and again the HANS device acted as it should do.

“Those three devices all working together to ensure Lewis is, as Shov said, a little bit bruised and hurting but okay.”

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Hamilton’s W12 obviously bore the brunt of the impact with Verstappen’s car. Shovlin detailed the extent of the damage suffered by the Mercedes.

“We had a bit of time with the car before leaving the circuit to make a quick assessment,” said Shovlin.

“The rear wing is quite badly damaged You will have seen how far that got bent over during the crash.

“There is a bit of superficial damage around wings and floor, but most of the impact was taken by the roll hoop area and the Halo itself. That came off quite badly

“The quick look at the PU is that that looks okay, and the gearbox we will have a bit more of a look into that when it gets back here. But as I said most of it was limited to the Halo and the roll hoop area.”

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