Mercedes W13, Zandvoort, 2022

Mercedes plan to reintroduce Hamilton’s damaged Spa engine after repairs

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In the round-up: Following his 45G impact, Hamilton has changed engine for Zandvoort as his Spa one undergoes repairs.

In brief

Hamilton fine but engine is taking a race off following Spa shunt

Lewis Hamilton has revealed Mercedes have taken the engine that he was using during the Belgian Grand Prix out and are making repairs to it this week while a different unit goes in his car for the Dutch Grand Prix. The engine he used at Spa was a new one fitted for that weekend.

On the opening lap of last weekend’s race at Spa-Francorchamps, Hamilton collided with Fernando Alonso and the rear of his car was sent into the air. A 45G impact was registered as it landed, and Hamilton retired shortly after.

“They’ve gone through the whole car and they’re doing work on the engine to make sure we can use it,” he said.

“I think we will be able to use it. We won’t be using it this weekend obviously, because they’re still repairing pieces from the car. So we’ll find out soon. I feel fine. I’ve been doing physio and just stretching and fortunately I’m good.”

Former F1 race director Michael Masi returns to Supercars

Michael Masi, the former FIA F1 race director whose controversial handling of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix influenced the outcome of the world championship and led to his departure from the sport’s governing body, has been confirmed in his new role as independent chair of the Supercars Commission.

Supercars is the most popular form of motorsport in Australia, Masi’s home country, and is a championship he knows well having been part of its race control team between 2015 and 2018. He started off as race director in the supporting Super2 series, then became deputy race director in the top-tier championship before adding Formula 1 to his list of commitments. He replaces Neil Crompton in the role.

Andretti retain Hunter McElrea for 2023 season

Indy Lights title outsider Hunter McElrea will be back in the series for 2023, staying with the Andretti Autosport team he has starred as a rookie with this year.

The New Zealand-American is the first driver to put his name down for next season, although he is still in contention for a prize IndyCar drive if he manages to become champion of its main feeder series.

“I really gelled with the team this season and it’s a great atmosphere with fast cars, so it was a no brainer for me to come back,” said McElrea.

“I’ve learned a lot in my first year and I really look forward to putting that into action for my second year. Obviously, the championship is the goal but I’m just planning to have as much fun as I can and keep learning, while making the most of the opportunity I have.”

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Comment of the day

Charles Leclerc’s Belgian GP went wrong at the point when a visor tear-off from Max Verstappen flew into one of his brake ducts and caused cooling issues. Although he refused to blame his title rival for what happened, Leclerc did point out that drivers should stop throwing their visor tear-offs to avoid similar incidents in the future.

However keeping tear-offs in the car through races has proven unpopular with drivers, so a new solution may need to be find out. Or even an old one…

I am sure that is they apply themselves then a solution can be found. It is not all that different throwing them out or in the car. Perhaps we should go back to the 60’s and seventies where the driver carried a moist chamois and cleaned his own visor when required.Patrick

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katederby, Notna, Derek Taylor and F1Tshif!

On this day in motorsport

Romain Grosjean skittled Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi today in 2012

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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21 comments on “Mercedes plan to reintroduce Hamilton’s damaged Spa engine after repairs”

  1. Alonso is in for the bump test 😁

  2. A dozen years ago the FIA did plan to ban drivers throwing tear offs out of the cockpit and expeced drivers to store them in pockets in the cockpit.

    It was trialled and ultimately scrapped as drivers found it difficult to get them in the pockets, Especially on circuits that didn’t feature long straights or which were quite busy.

    I think Indycar looked at similar at one point and also backed away from it for similar reasons.

    1. So they need a better solution this time – not just give up.

  3. whose controversial handling of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix influenced the outcome of the world championship

    This is poor journalism/editing (I assumed it was Keith, but it seems to be Ida this time).
    You might hide behind the word ‘controversial’ and claim the statement is correct, but we all know you only include this (sub) sentence to stir up the crowd and get a few extra clicks.

    1. It’s what Masi will always be best known for, and is an accurate reflection of what happened.
      His decision was controversial and did determine the world championship.

      1. While it may have been controversial, @sham, it most certainly did not determine the outcome of the championship.

        1. If he’d have followed the rules, Hamilton would have won the championship as it would have finished under safety car. He didn’t, and Verstappen beat a defenceless Hamilton.
          How did it not determine the result?

          1. If he’d have followed the rules, Hamilton would have won the championship as it would have finished under safety car.

            We’ve been over this 1000 times already. It could easily have finished under green even without rule-bending.
            They had the choice to not allow any cars to unlap, which would have given them a green finish anyway.
            They also could have declared the incident cleared 30 seconds earlier (it was sufficiently clear to do so) and also had a green finish then too.

            Hamilton was ”defenceless’ by choice. At the time the SC was called, Mercedes and Red Bull had strategic decisions to make – Mercedes chose track position and very old tyres, while Red Bull chose fresh tyres for a potential racing finish (which the teams had already collectively agreed with the FIA as a preference).
            The race restarted legally (using a previously unused interpretation of the existing rules, as is the FIA’s right) and they suffered (or celebrated) the consequences of their strategies, with drivers racing for position on-track. That’s how racing works….

            Many people are selective of certain circumstances but entirely ignorant of others.
            Some choose to only start evaluating the whole scenario at a certain point – after the teams’ strategic decisions were made, usually.
            If Hamilton had pitted instead and Verstappen stayed out, it’s quite possible that people would feel very different about the whole event.

      2. It’s what Masi will always be best known for

        It will be for only part of the fans he will be ‘best known for’ this final lap decision (bolstered by the never ending repetitions on this site and limited other media).

        The decision to call in the SC without the extra lap wasn’t that ‘controversial’ as it was clearly foreshadowed to the teams (based on their request) to end the season under green flag conditions if possible.

        To me Masi will be known for various other controversial decisions and his unrelenting inconsistency in his directives, ruling, and calls as F1 RD.

        1. Likewise – I think of his time in F1 more for the unbelievable inconsistency in track limits.
          That’s far more controversial and result-determining as far as I’m concerned.

          Oh, and also the double-standard that many people applied to him. Whiting was ‘loved’ for ‘working together’ with the teams to solve problems, whereas Masi was treated with contempt and labelled as biased and corrupt for doing the exact same thing.

        2. “If possible” is the key here. It was not possible to do so under the rules, so he broke the rules in a number of areas…

          “If possible” to me and most other people that value the rules of sport, meant that if it is possible to speed a procedure up and to allow the race to go ahead within the limits of the rules then every effort should be made to do so. It does not mean – Just arbitrarily change the rules for this one race after the decision making opportunities for some teams have already passed…

          It would be like a 400m race in the Olympics suddenly being lengthened to 500m as the runners are approaching the line…

          1. It WAS possible, the 5 cars unlapped themselves in 12s between turn 9-10, and there was almost a minute to include the next 3 cars.
            Unlapping takes a lot less than the time that was available in AD.

            In the end the unlapping error did not disadvantage anybody. Even Sainz was not disadvantaged if you look at his inability to overtake Ricciardo in that last lap.
            Masi has made bigger errors than only allowing some cars unlap themselves, but few people are complaining about those.

    2. It was Controversial. No one with any knowledge of F1 could possibly say anything otherwise… The rules were not applied correctly in any way! Now you might be happy that this happened and that Max won if you are a fan of his, but that does not stop the fact that under the rules, it should never have happened.

      1. The ‘SC in without the extra lap’ was not controversial as the intent was agreed by all teams before the race.
        The resulting race winner is the controversial part for some, especially as it happened over the last lap on totally different tyres.

        And IMO calling a SC instead of a Red Flag was wrong and controversial (I’m not happy that Max won this race as I wanted a Red Flag with Hamilton as probably and justified winner).

        And you could call the partial unlapping controversial (probably not even that, as it was plain wrong), but that did not impact the final result

  4. Perhaps one of the most famous crashes in modern F1 – Spa 2012.
    And still, there is the same old angle that Grosjean is the sole cause and responsibility of the whole thing.

    Every time I see it, I see Hamilton holding his line – not avoiding Grosjean – despite there actually being more space there.
    Grosjean undoubtedly played the majority part in it, but Hamilton had his role too as he also could have avoided contact without even backing off the throttle. He hasn’t changed a bit since then.
    F1 (well, media and fans, mostly) love to portray drivers as villains or heros – and the biggest ones of each from the last 15 years were right there in that incident.

    1. If a driver moves across the track and hits another car in your mind that driver is not fully at fault?

      You should be in the Netherlands this weekend and not here being the armchair expert.

      1. If a driver moves across the track and hits another car in your mind that driver is not fully at fault?

        Depends on the particular circumstances.
        In this case, Grosjean had indeed come most of the way across the track (legally), but had straightened (mostly) before contact occurred. There was a car width + almost 1 metre for Hamilton.
        So for this incident – no, I don’t believe Grosjean was fully at fault. And that’s without even considering that he was ahead of Hamilton, giving the right to place his car pretty much wherever he wants to (while still leaving that car width, of course, due to the overlap).

        You should be in the Netherlands this weekend and not here being the armchair expert.

        You do realise this is the internet, right? I could be there now. Actually, I can be an expert anywhere.

  5. You know you’re old when you can identify the home driver in that 1985 F1 footage without having to look up the answer…

    1. Or when you recognise the singer on Zhou’s t-shirt ;)

  6. By sticking to the same Engine Mercedes and Hamilton are storing a decent engine advantage for later in the season. A new engine when everyone else have used up their allocation of engines, on a track which allows overtakes, should be enough for Mercedes to get that win.

    1. Everyone will be taking engines strategically at some point.
      Verstappen will probably take another one at COTA or Brazil – somewhere easy to overtake.
      If they continue to have pace like at Spa, starting last is no concern.

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