Friday, August 3, 2007

Hamilton's qualifying accident explained

A failure on the wheelgun, or at least the wrong pneumatic air pressure applied to it, was at the root of Lewis Hamilton's qualifying accident at the Nurburgring. To summarise, the fault meant it was not possible for the mechanic changing the right-front wheel to completely fasten the wheel nut (1), although it did allow the safety pin (2) to be pulled into its required position, preventing the wheel nut loosening completely and hence the wheel falling off. The result of the fault was a small gap (5 - in yellow) between the central mounting of the wheel (3) and the brake disc holder (4). This allowed the wheel an abnormal degree of freedom in relation to the aforementioned assembly and the inner edge of the rim started touching and scratching against the edge of the carbon fibre brake drum (6), damaging the rim (7) and causing the sudden deflation of the tyre.

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