Race against time for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton crashes late in FP3 session

Henry Valantine
Crashed Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton is recovered. Monaco May 2023.

Lewis Hamilton's damaged Mercedes is placed on a recovery vehicle after crashing in practice. Monaco May 2023.

Lewis Hamilton crashed late in FP3 in Monaco, with Mercedes now in a race against time to get his car ready for qualifying.

The seven-time World Champion carried a bit too much speed into the right-hander of Mirabeau on a qualifying simulation towards the end of FP3, with a snap of oversteer sending him the opposite direction and into the barrier on the exit.

Hamilton tried to get himself clear of trouble, but race engineer Pete Bonnington confirmed there was damage on his W14 and asked him to stop the car, with Race Control bringing out the red flags and ending the session prematurely – and Hamilton apologised for his uncharacteristic error.

Hamilton had just set the fastest first sector of anybody around Monaco heading into the final few minutes of practice, but under braking his car appeared to lose balance at the apex of Mirabeau, with the rear stepping out on the Briton and sending him towards the barrier.

The Mercedes driver stayed in his car as he tried to reverse clear of the kerb, but his efforts were in vain and he eventually needed to climb out of his cockpit in order for the marshals to clear the stricken W14.

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There were plenty of nervous faces in the Mercedes garage as, due to Monaco’s unique placing and the angle of the corner, Hamilton’s car had to be airlifted to safety off the track by crane, with the damaged W14 dangling in the air as it was brought back down to the ground.

The team will look to get Hamilton’s chassis back as quickly as possible to work on the damage sustained on the front left of his car, with a relatively short timeframe in which for Mercedes to make repairs and get his car ready in time for qualifying.

Hamilton finished eighth fastest in the session overall, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez taking the top two slots in FP3 in Monaco.