Cause of penultimate-lap crash at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix revealed
12 May 2010

Lewis Hamilton's penultimate-lap crash at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix was caused by a wheel rim failure, his McLaren team has confirmed.

"The analysis of the part came back and, as we said at the time, we did not believe that the deflation was caused by a puncture or a tyre failure in that all the evidence told us that the rim failed, which caused the deflation," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

"The rim failure is being investigated. It could be debris-related, it could be that a lack of tightness of the wheelnut allowed some flexing. What we know is that the rim failed, probably a human error somewhere in the process to cause it, and that led to the deflation and the accident."

Hamilton was set for a comfortable second place in the race, but crashed when the rim failure caused his left-front tyre to deflate and sent him across the gravel and into the tyre wall.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that the cause of the rim failure had yet to be determined though, and that an investigation remains ongoing.

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12 May 2010

Boy, is this guy (Lewis) jinxed or what? On the other hand, we all know that he eats through tyres like there's no tomorrow, and it was on a very long and fast right-hander (more right turns than left, remember), where the loads build up, the tire is on its last beath...just saying.

12 May 2010

[quote Ektor]he eats through tyres like there's no tomorrow, and it was on a very long and fast right-hander (more right turns than left, remember), where the loads build up, the tire is on its last beath..[/quote]

I don't believe for a moment that it was "rim failure." He wore out the tyre. If you look at the lap chart, you will see that just before this failure occurred Hamilton was setting a series of fastest laps, even though there was no possibility of him catching Webber and there was no possibility of Alonso catching him.

This would not be the first time that McLaren covered up for him. When he pushed the wrong button on the steering wheel and lost power (losing the WC in his first season) they blamed an "errant magnetic field." When he lied about Trulli overtaking him they fired a highly respected, loyal employee to deflect blame from him.

...the band was playing Dixie: double-four time...

12 May 2010

[quote cimardinius]

I don't believe for a moment that it was "rim failure." He wore out the tyre. If you look at the lap chart, you will see that just before this failure occurred Hamilton was setting a series of fastest laps, even though there was no possibility of him catching Webber and there was no possibility of Alonso catching him.

[/quote]

From Autosport:

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that the cause of the rim failure had yet to be determined though, and that an investigation remains ongoing.

"The analysis of the part came back yesterday [Monday]... We had Bridgestone here," Whitmarsh told a Vodafone teleconference on Tuesday.

"As we said at the time, we did not believe that the deflation was caused by a puncture or a tyre failure in that all the evidence told us that the rim failed, which caused the deflation.

"The rim failure is being investigated. It could be debris-related, it could be that a lack of tightness of the wheelnut allowed some flexing. What we know is that the rim failed, probably a human error somewhere in the process to cause it, and that led to the deflation and the accident."

But of course sat in your armchair at home, well, you'd know better. Wouldn't you?

12 May 2010

[quote cimardinius]

[quote Ektor]he eats through tyres like there's no tomorrow, and it was on a very long and fast right-hander (more right turns than left, remember), where the loads build up, the tire is on its last beath..[/quote]

I don't believe for a moment that it was "rim failure." He wore out the tyre. If you look at the lap chart, you will see that just before this failure occurred Hamilton was setting a series of fastest laps, even though there was no possibility of him catching Webber and there was no possibility of Alonso catching him.

This would not be the first time that McLaren covered up for him. When he pushed the wrong button on the steering wheel and lost power (losing the WC in his first season) they blamed an "errant magnetic field." When he lied about Trulli overtaking him they fired a highly respected, loyal employee to deflect blame from him.

[/quote] To be fair, i have to say that my first reaction when i saw the accident, was "that was a rim failure" i am no fan of Hamilton, but i suspect in this case they are telling the truth and it was the rim giving up.

12 May 2010

Is it a possibility the rim failed because LH hit the curbs too much?

12 May 2010

I guess this must be "we hate Hamilton" week.

It isn't unheard-of for things to break on a McLaren - happened to Kimi sometimes.

12 May 2010

[quote Walking]

Is it a possibility the rim failed because LH hit the curbs too much?

[/quote]

I doubt it, the tyre acts as an undamped spring, sheilding the impact from the rim.

He wasn't hitting the kerbs any differently from anyone else.

Remember, Vettel had a rim go earlier this season, it happens

12 May 2010

[quote Richard H]the tyre acts as an undamped spring[/quote]

Do F1 cars not have mass dampers any more? It seems to me that the weight from one hit Massa as recently as last season...

...the band was playing Dixie: double-four time...

12 May 2010

thats a bit harsh. He was pushing hard as Seb had a brake issue and it was worth putting pressure on Mark in case he had a similar problem. Also in case you havent noticed he is a out and out racer which I for one give him credit for.

As for the Melbourne incident he was led astray and held his hands up. If the "respected employee" had known the rules as he was suposed to he would have told him to hold station and he would have got his well deserved 3rd place.

12 May 2010

[quote cimardinius]Do F1 cars not have mass dampers any more? It seems to me that the weight from one hit Massa as recently as last season...[/quote]

They were banned when Alnoso's Renault was quicker than Schumacher's Ferrari.......

The spring that hit Massa was from the back of the Brawn, different.

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