Lewis Hamilton crash: Mercedes issue update on Belgian Grand Prix qualifying hopes after practice off

Championship leader slammed into the barriers after losing control at Turn 12 in final practice just hours before the start of qualifying

Philip Duncan
Spa-Francorchamps
Saturday 31 August 2019 13:25
Comments
Formula One: 1000 races in numbers

Lewis Hamilton's hopes of taking part in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix hang in the balance after he suffered a high-speed crash in final practice.

Hamilton lost control of his Mercedes at the right-handed turn 12 before slamming into the barriers.

The five-time world champion suffered extensive damage to the front of his Mercedes.

The one-hour session was immediately red-flagged following Hamilton's accident.

"I am in the wall, guys," the British driver said over the radio. "I am sorry."

Hamilton, 34, emerged from his cockpit unscathed, but his mechanics now face a race against time to get his damaged car ready for qualifying.

It is, however, a race they believe they can win.

Hamilton went off on the entry to Turn 12 (AFP/Getty)
Hamilton's car suffered extensive damage to the front and left sides (AFP/Getty)
The team had roughly three hours to fix the damage

"We will be replacing both front corners (suspension and wheel assemblies), nose, barge boards and floor on Lewis' car," a tweet from Mercedes read.

"Barring any unexpected surprises, we believe we can complete all of the work in time for the start of #BelgianGP qualifying."

The battle for pole position at Spa-Francorchamps takes place at 3pm local time.

Watch the video below...

Hamilton holds a commanding 62-point lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the championship, but he will be forced to start at the back of the grid for Sunday's race if he fails to post a time in qualifying.

In Hamilton's absence, Ferrari continued their domination of the weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, with Charles Leclerc fastest.

The impressive Monegasque finished nearly half-a-second clear of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, 0.497 seconds off the pace.

Final TImes after Third Practice:

1 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1min 44.206secs

2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:44.657

3 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:44.703

4 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:44.974

5 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:45.312

6 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:45.521

7 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:45.566

8 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:45.659

9 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:45.688

10 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:45.752

11 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:45.806

12 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:45.855

13 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:46.004

14 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:46.017

15 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:46.270

16 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:46.379

17 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:46.642

18 George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:47.858

19 Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:48.350

20 Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:50.681

PA

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