Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes had to be built from “scratch” on Saturday morning, Mike Elliott saying credit goes to the mechanics for getting the driver out in FP2.
Both Mercedes drivers crashed in Friday’s qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton side-on into the Turn 4 barrier in what was a hard hit while George Russell put his car in the barrier after the session was restarted.
Mercedes opted not to use one of their curfew jokers to fix the cars overnight, instead beginning the work on Saturday morning.
It was a race against time to get both cars on the track for the day’s first session, FP2.
Russell missed the first five minutes while Hamilton made it onto the track with 20 minutes remaining in the session.
But, given that his side of the garage had to build a car from “scratch”, Elliott only has praise for the team.
lewis hamilton’s crash during q3 💔#AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/sO8yMGcind
— ash (@lovesferrari) July 8, 2022
“Well, I think you probably saw we managed to get George out about 5 minutes into FP2 and with Lewis we were about halfway through the session,” Elliott revealed.
“There is a huge amount of work that went into getting those cars ready and in Lewis’s case he had done so much damage to the chassis, actually only cosmetic damage but damage that we couldn’t fix in the field we had to sort of build his car from scratch on Saturday morning.
“A number of years ago we used to be allowed to have a T Car, a complete third car build in the garage, but the rules were changed so that you can only have two race cars and you could carry just a spare tub or spare chassis.
“So that’s the bit, the drivers sits in with the fuel tank on the back of it.
“So, that car had to be built from nothing, fitting the engine, the gearbox, all the suspension, all of the sort of car systems that bolt around the chassis, all had to be put in place and the mechanics managed to do that in three and a half hours on Saturday morning which is an amazing achievement and all credit to them for actually getting us back out and into FP2.
“And the advantage of getting out into FP2 is that you can actually make sure that the set-up on Lewis’s car was right, that the balance was right and that he was happy with the car in time for sprint qualifying.”
Russell finished fourth in Saturday’s sprint qualifying with Hamilton P4. The duo third and fourth in the grand prix with the seven-time World Champion ahead of his team-mate.
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