Following qualifying in Austria, in which both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crashed into the wall, Mercedes feared that there were not enough spare parts available for either driver. Mike Elliott, Mercedes’ technical director, reveals in a YouTube-video that the team even feared it would miss Sunday’s race.
Both drivers lost their rear wings, but only one spare of the low-drag specification was available. “We chose to fit it on Lewis’ car because was gonna have to come through the field,” Elliott explained. Hamilton’s car had to be completely rebuilt because there was too much damage to the chassis to repair in a weekend.
Mercedes feared crash in sprint race
Both Mercedes drivers spent little time on track during the second free practice session, as repairs could not begin until Saturday morning due to parc fermé rules. So the weekend already started stressfully for the German stable, but the sprint race would make things even more exciting.
The team feared that if Hamilton or Russell crashed again in the sprint race it would not be possible to take part in the main race. The cars were so badly damaged on Friday that there might not be enough parts to carry out the necessary repairs. “The drivers are now in a position where if we damage them in the sprint race we may well be in a position where we couldn’t race on Sunday,” Elliott said.