Lewis Hamilton 'nearly broke back' in Fernando Alonso clash

Lewis Hamilton says he is grateful to still be in shape after his collision with Fernando Alonso, which he says nearly broke his back.

The two old rivals were jostling for second place on the opening lap of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix when they came together at Les Combes, with Hamilton being popped up into the air as the two drivers banged tyres.

Indeed, onboard footage shows just how high Lewis actually went in his Mercedes, with him at one point looking firmly down at the tarmac and, as gravity intervened, he came crashing back down to the surface with a hefty bump.

It would transpire a few corners later that that impact was enough to retire Hamilton from the Grand Prix as he pulled his Mercedes W13 over to the side of the circuit and began the long trudge back to the paddock, seemingly in one piece.

The impact of the drop back to Earth got reporters asking how he was once he was back in the paddock, however, and he revealed that he was perhaps lucky to escape the incident without any further injury:

“I nearly broke my back coming down. It was a big hit. I just remember looking at the ground, it was quite high. It was definitely high. I’m grateful to still be alive and in shape.”

It was an odd incident as, at first, given Lewis continued on for at least a short while, it didn’t look too bad a collision.

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Alpine F1 A522 Renault and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 battle for track position up the Kemmel straight during the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Replays showed just how airborne Hamilton got, though, and it was no surprise to see the Mercedes limping fairly soon after the initial whack, with Lewis having to pull up.

He must have suffered quite the jolt in the cockpit, too, especially as the cars are not designed to be plush, comfy places to be, and he is clearly grateful to have escaped more long-term issues.

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