Lewis Hamilton certainly made a mountain out of a molehill with regard to the contact with Raikkonen. Despite his claims, Mercedes confirmed that Lewis Hamilton had minor damage to his car.
Immediately after the incident the Briton made a number of frantic calls over his radio. He claimed “I think my car’s broken”, and then “I’ve lost half my floor, I’m sure”.
Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin later confirmed that there was “very, very minimal” damage to Hamilton’s car.
“We didn’t have much damage at all,” he reveals. “It was quite a big impact and we were pretty lucky to get away with it.
“The reality though was that you heard Lewis complaining about damage to his floor. We thought that there might have been some aerodynamic damage but that was just from running in the turbulent air of all those cars ahead when he was having to fight through,” he added.
“It was only when he got into clear air, and he could feel what the car was like and we could see his pace, that we were able to really understand that the damage was very, very minimal.”
Shovlin also quashed rumours that the Ferrari drivers were deliberately targeting the Mercedes pair. He said that if Lewis Hamilton had made a better start he wouldn’t have been hit by Raikkonen.
“We are doing a lot of work here this week trying to understand that, because we know fine well that if we qualify on pole we have got to get off the line as well as the Ferraris and that is what we will be trying to do in Hockenheim,” he said.
“The simple answer is that we got some wheelspin,. There was a bit less grip on the grid than we were expecting.
“We had done practice starts there and at Silverstone they do actually allow you do a start from the grid. But for some reason on Sunday we didn’t quite have what we expected and as soon as you get the wheelspin you lose traction and that lost him places quickly.”