Mercedes revealed that Lewis Hamilton would have retired from the British Grand Prix, if not for the session being red-flagged after the crash with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race.
Hamilton hit his left front wheel against Verstappen’s right rear as the two battled flat-out at Copse as the Dutchman flew off into the barriers, bringing out the red flag. In the process, Hamilton sustained a DNF causing damages to his W12, which were repaired when the session was suspended, according to Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin.
“Max drives aggressively and it’s inevitable that one day, we’re gonna get an accident. We were pleased with the job that Lewis did and slightly disappointed to get the penalty, but just relieved that we could still win the race,” Shovlin commented.
“If you look at the guide that the stewards have to determine who’s at fault in terms of overtaking, Lewis was sufficiently alongside and we felt that Max should have given him racing room.”
Shovlin expressed his disappointment with the penalty given to Hamilton, expressing that it was not particularly fair. In addition, Shovlin also went into detail describing what exactly was damaged, expressing his surprise with the extent to which the front wing was unaffected.
“We’d failed the rim, where we’d had the contact at the front left. So that would have been a DNF, had it not been red-flagged,” Shovlin explained, when asked about the matter.
“The rest of the damage was actually remarkably little, it was a tire temperature sensor that got knocked loose. So it was waggling around.”