Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton lost his second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix after being disqualified.

His Mercedes failed a physical floor and plank wear inspection following Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Texas.

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

In Mercedes’ post-race press release, Hamilton, 38, said: “It is of course disappointing to be disqualified post-race, but that doesn’t take away from the progress we’ve made this weekend.”

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, admitted there was “no wriggle room in the rules”.

“We need to take it on the chin, do the learning, and come back stronger next weekend,” he said.

Hamilton in the Mercedes during the US Grand Prix. Pic: AP

An FIA statement confirming the decision said Mercedes and Ferrari had acknowledged the 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”.

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.”

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Sky Sports F1 journalist Nigel Chiu said it was “rare” for cars to be found guilty of this regulation, but added: “The Circuit of the Americas is one of the bumpiest tracks on the calendar and the Mercedes and Ferraris were visibly running lower to the ground than the Red Bull throughout the weekend.”

Hamilton’s disqualification meant fellow British driver Lando Norris was promoted to second behind race-winner, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The teams will now travel south to Mexico City for the Mexican Grand Prix next weekend and then on to Brazil, before returning to the US for the highly-anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix on 19 November.

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