Lewis Hamilton’s spin in Q3 in Abu Dhabi was caused by a right rear suspension failure, Ross Brawn has confirmed.
Hamilton was on a strong lap at the time, and still held on to fourth place with his time from earlier in the session.
“It was a little bit of an unusual event because Lewis had got out of the corner when he lost control of the car,” said Brawn. “When we’d got the car back we’d fractured a wishbone, one of the wishbones had broken. That’s why he lost control of the car. We think we can sort it out. Obviously it’s a circuit where there’s a lot of grief over the kerbs and so on, so we’re going back through all the data to try and understand what may have provoked it, because it’s obviously a system we’ve had for a long time with no problems.
“It may be an issue with that particular part, or it may be an issue with the way we’ve taken some kerbs or some particular event. So we’re poring over all the data. I don’t think there’s any high risk for tomorrow, and we should be able to fix it within parc ferme and race OK tomorrow.
“As soon as it became clear we had a problem… We had a lot of people in the office anyway, but a lot of the specialists came in and they’re looking through all the data now to see where we have have induced the problem, and then we can advise the drivers to avoid that, if it is a particular event. It’s pretty violent here over some of the kerbs, and you probably saw Lewis the run before had quite an event over one of the kerbs.
“We’re really comfortable with the suspension system because it’s one we’ve had all year with no particular problems. Something’s happened here that’s aggravated it, and we’ll check Nico’s car and understand what’s happened.”
Asked by this writer if there were concerns about gearbox suspension mountings – which could result in a five-place penalty if a change was required – Ross didn’t think it would be an issue: “I don’t think so, no, but that’s obviously something we’ve got to check out tonight and tomorrow morning. But so far it doesn’t look to be a problem.”