July 21, 2007

F1 Quals: The Nurb Jr.

Owtch.

That's the end of Lewis Hamilton's run in Q3. A tiregun appears to be to blame, meaning the locking nut may not have been on tight enough. As a result, the wheel would have been moving ever so slightly on the axle. This caused a failure of either the tire, or the wheel (which immediately led to tire failure). The McLaren careened off the track, got airborne when it hit the gravel trap, bounced, and then hit the tire barrier head-on... just one tire's thickness from clearing the barrier completely.

The car then came to a dead stop immediately, like a dart in a board. It almost seemed to stick in the barrier for a heartbeat, then fell to the ground. It was pretty much a worst-case scenario for an accident: 150mph to zero in nothing flat, no rebound, no explosion of car pieces everywhere (a la Montreal). Dale Earnhart Sr. was killed in a similar style of crash, though he didn't have a HANS device, and the concrete is a lot harder than a tire barrier. Fortunately, the in-car camera immediately showed that Hamilton was moving in a controlled manner, meaning that he was more-or-less okay. He kept pumping his legs, as if testing them for injuries, but it took him quite a long time to get out of the McLaren.

Hamilton DID eventually pull himself (slowly) out of the car, and was helicoptered to the Bundeswehrezentralkrankenhaus for tests and observation for a few hours. He eventually returned to the pit lane, and all reports say that he wants to race, though McLaren still has not said that he will. It's a fair bet that he will, since he seems to be uninjured.

In other qualifying news (*chuckle*), Kimi Raikkonen took pole in his Ferrari, Alonso is second, and Massa is third. The BMW Twins are 4th and 5th, with Mark Webber bringing his Red Bull in in 6th. 7th is Renault's Heikki Koveleainineininnie, with the two Toyotas 8th (Jarno) and 9th (Ralfy). The 10th spot is where Hamilton's McLaren qualifies... we'll find out on Sunday if he'll be the one driving it.

The rest of the field:
11. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:31.978
12. Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 1:31.996
13. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:32.010
14. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:32.221
15. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1:32.451
16. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 1:32.838
17. Jenson Button Britain Honda 1:32.983
18. Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.038
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.148
20. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:33.151
21. Adrian Sutil Germany Spyker-Ferrari 1:34.500
22. Markus Winkelhock Spyker-Ferrari 1:35.940

See you Sunday for the F1 UPDATE!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 12:19 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Scary wreck--and a relief to see him getting out of the car.

Interesting news about the possibility of Sebastian Bordais and Red Bull next year. :-)

Posted by: Mallory at July 21, 2007 11:30 PM (Bc7do)

2 It sure was a nasty looking hit. That in-car is just gut-wrenching. The blunt deceleration is pretty amazing. Glad he was OK. Equally amazing was the interview with his father during the pre-race where he said Lewis was just worried about how it would affect his race on Sunday!

Posted by: madmike at July 22, 2007 07:02 AM (BWBM2)

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