Onboard footage of Charles Leclerc's debris smashing into Lewis Hamilton

AUTO-PRIX-JPN-F1

Lewis Hamilton didn't have the best of times at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, despite once again finishing on the podium in third place.

The Brit was beaten by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who won the race, and also by long-term rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

However, things could have been very different for the Mercedes ace and he could've easily not finished the race whatsoever.

Early on in the race in Japan, Charles Leclerc was involved in an incident with Max Verstappen, where the Ferrari man appeared to drive sideways right into the Dutchman.

Despite his car being damaged, Leclerc decided to stay out on the track, even with parts of his car hanging off, and because of this, he was penalised by the FIA.

The part of his car that was damaged was his endplate, and it was dragging along the tarmac for the entire of the first lap.

Once it finally did break off from the vehicle, it nearly wiped out Hamilton and his Mercedes.

With the Brit hot on the heels of Leclerc, he wasn't expecting such an incident to occur, but luckily for him, it was only his wing mirror that got smashed up, and not the front of his car, or even worse, him himself.

Now, incredible onboard footage has emerged of the incident and it shows just how close Hamilton was from a complete disaster.

Luckily these days, drivers are safer than ever due to the introduction of the Halo, but there could have still been serious damage done had the endplate smashed into the Mercedes man.

You only have to go back to 2009 when Felipe Massa was hit in the head by a suspension spring to know the damage debris can truly cause.

However, Hamilton was lucky this time around, and despite being disgruntled at Mercedes' strategy and finishing third, he can count his lucky starts he wasn't seriously hurt.

News Now - Sport News