Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, has been disqualified from the sprint race to take place at the Brazil Grand Prix. The Briton was investigated for rear-wing element technical infringement, after qualifying on Friday. The decision by the stewards has cost him pole position.
FIA provided a detailed explanation citing that Lewis Hamilton’s car “Could not fulfill the requirement of a maximum 85mm measurement” (adjustable portions of the uppermost rear-wing element).
The decision by the stewards, after holding a hearing and allowing Mercedes to argue the case, resulted in a disqualification for Lewis Hamilton. The Briton will now start the next sprint race from the back of the grid.
Mercedes and Hamilton have argued the case, stating that the problem was an assembly issue. Although the stewards sympathized with the team, their reasons for disqualifying the Mercedes driver in the FIA statement can be summed up in the following quote:
“The Stewards were sympathetic to this argument and analyzed whether they felt this was a mitigating circumstance. It is often a mitigating circumstance to make allowances for crash damage. However, the Stewards could not extend this argument to cover parts that were found out of conformity in post session checks with no obvious reason in evidence other than considering normal running at this Event. In the end, the regulations are clear and at the moment of the conformity check, the car did not comply.”
Max Verstappen fined 50,000 Euros for touching Lewis Hamilton’s car
FIA also stated that an amateur video had surfaced, where Max Verstappen touched the rear wing of Lewis Hamilton’s car. This was evaluated, however, the seven-time world champion and stewards agreed that Verstappen’s actions did not cause the malfunction in the DRS.
According to FIA they gathered all video evidence from Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s car to investigate the Parc Ferme issue. Along with the car footage, they also gathered footage from the CCTV cameras in the pitlane, in addition to the amateur video that surfaced online.
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With a title at stake, the disqualification can mean some serious ramifications for Lewis Hamilton in the Brazil Grand Prix weekend. Verstappen and Bottas are starting on the front row as a result of the disqualification, with Verstappen now starting from pole position. The disqualified Briton will have to make 20 places on the grid in 24 laps in order to win the sprint race.