Hamilton's Crash Caused by Wheel Rim Failure

McLaren has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton’s crash in the penultimate lap of the Spanish Grand Prix was caused by a wheel rim failure. The accident happened while the Brit was cruising comfortably for a second-place finish behind Aussie Mark Webber.

As he entered the high-speed Renault corner, the rim failure caused his left-front tire to deflate and sent Hamilton’s McLaren across the gravel and into the tire wall.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the cause of the rim failure was yet to be established and that an investigation was ongoing.

The analysis of the part came back yesterday... We had Bridgestone here," Whitmarsh told a Vodafone teleconference on Tuesday, quoted by Autosport. "As we said at the time, we did not believe that the deflation was caused by a puncture or a tyre failure in that all the evidence told us that the rim failed, which caused the deflation. The rim failure is being investigated,” Whitmarsh added.

It could be debris-related, it could be that a lack of tightness of the wheelnut allowed some flexing. What we know is that the rim failed, probably a human error somewhere in the process to cause it, and that led to the deflation and the accident," McLaren boss explained.

"I'm absolutely gutted that my accident happened so close to the finish, but that's motor racing," said the 2008 champion after the race. Hamilton posted the fastest lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, a race won by Mark Webber.

Hamilton's crash left him sixth in the World Championship standings, 21 points behind the leader, his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.
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