Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

The plank underneath Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was found to have worn too thin during the United States Grand Prix; Hamilton had finished second behind Max Verstappen; Charles Leclerc was also disqualified from sixth for the same offense

Last Updated: 23/10/23 1:55am

Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of a second-placed finish in the drivers’ championship have suffered a major blow

Lewis Hamilton lost his second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix after being disqualified when his Mercedes failed a physical floor and plank wear inspection after Sunday’s race.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was found guilty of the same offense, and also disqualified from his sixth-place finish.

The skids on the bottom of each of their cars, which are designed to impose a minimum ground clearance for F1 cars, had worn away to the point that they were no longer within Formula 1 regulations.

Hamilton’s disqualification saw McLaren’s Lando Norris promoted to second behind race-winner Max Verstappen, and the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz onto the podium.

Meanwhile, Williams Logan Sargeant scores the first point of his rookie F1 campaign after being promoted to 10th, with both of the team’s drivers scoring as Alex Albon jumped up to ninth.

An FIA statement confirming the decision said that Mercedes and Ferrari had acknowledged that their respective breach was “probably a result of the unique combination of the bumpy track and the Sprint race schedule that minimised the time to set up and check the car before the race”.

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Highlights from the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Highlights from the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

The statement added: “The Stewards note that the onus is on the competitor to ensure that the car is in compliance with the regulations at all times during an event.”

Both teams have the option to appeal the ruling, but social media posts from their official accounts appeared to suggest that the decisions had been accepted.

Hamilton had been left frustrated after agonisingly missing out on a first victory in almost two years at the hands of world champion Max Verstappen, but ultimately would have had the win taken away from him.

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Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated on team radio after a delayed pit stop.

Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated on team radio after a delayed pit stop.

The disqualification is a major blow to Hamilton’s hopes of chasing down Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez for second in the drivers’ standings.

The Mexican was promoted to from fifth to fourth, and instead of only leading Hamilton by 19 points going into the final four rounds of the season, has a 39-point advantage.

Updated United States GP result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lando Norris, McLaren
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) George Russell, Mercedes
6) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
7) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
8) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
9) Alex Albon, Williams
10) Logan Sargeant, Williams

How did teams and drivers react?

F1 heads straight to Mexico for the middle leg of the Americas triple header. Watch the whole Mexico City Grand Prix weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with Sunday’s race at 8pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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