Hamilton hit speeds of 230kmh on three wheels

LONDON • Former Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has hailed Lewis Hamilton's British Grand Prix win - which came on three wheels and a flat tyre - as "absolutely mind-blowing".

The six-time world champion's front left tyre deflated on the last lap while leading last Sunday's race, leaving the championship leader 3.8km from the finish with Red Bull's Max Verstappen chasing after pitting for fresh soft tyres.

But data provided by Mercedes showed Hamilton completed the final lap 22 seconds slower than his penultimate one. He went through the high-speed Copse and Stowe corners at 141kmh and 133kmh respectively and reached 230kmh on the Hangar Straight.

"He reached 230kmh on the straight with only three wheels, and a front left tyre flailing around - absolutely mind blowing," said Brawn, Formula One's managing director for motor sport.

"He judged it to perfection to win the race by a few seconds and a brilliant example of the amazing talents and bravery of Lewis."

Pirelli are conducting an investigation into what happened, with Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Carlos Sainz also suffering late failures.

Hamilton's dominance - he has won the past three grands prix - has made him the odds-on favourite to equal and eventually pass Michael Schumacher's record of seven titles. The 35-year-old Briton is also four victories short of the German's all-time record of 91 race wins.

Hamilton can equal that at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September and surpass it a week later at Ferrari-owned Mugello - where the Italian team will mark their 1,000th grand prix.

If that happens, Jean Todt, who presided over Schumacher's golden years at Ferrari, is prepared to congratulate Hamilton.

"If you have a link to the records, you'd like the records to stay," former team boss Todt, now president of the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA), said.

"On the other side, normally, a record has a duration in life. All the records are due to be broken."

REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2020, with the headline 'Hamilton hit speeds of 230kmh on three wheels'. Print Edition | Subscribe