Formula 1

Hamilton, Verstappen Penalized Following Brazil Qualifying

By: Ashley McCubbin

After an examination of the rear-wing following qualifying for Brazil Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton would see his time disqualified. As a result, he must start the Sprint race today from the rear of the field rather than the pole.

“In lay terms, there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing,” the F1 Stewards explained. “When the DRS is not activated this gap must be between 10mm and 15mm. The car passed this part of the test.

“When DRS is activated, which raises the upper element of the wing to a flatter position, the gap must be between 10mm and 85mm. The maximum gap is measured, in accordance with TD/011-19, by pushing an 85mm gauge against the gap with a maximum load of 10N (ten newtons.) If the gauge goes through then the car has failed the test.

“In this case, the gauge would not pass through at the inner section of the wing, but did at the outer section of the wing. This test was repeated four times with two different gauges, once being done in the presence of the Stewards and representatives of the Competitor.”

Mercedes’ Chief Designer John Owen stated they intended to meet regulations, but blamed the deflection on “additional play either in the DRS actuator or the pivots at the end, or some combination or other fault with the mechanism, or incorrect assembly of the parts.”

Although the FIA agreed the same design passed previous tests and there was no indication on intent to extend the dimensions, it was overruled as, “it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained.”

Hamilton is already facing a five grid-penalty for Sunday’s Grand Prix for installing a new mtoor for Sunday.

Mercesdes will not appeal the decision, stating they want to win championships on the track.

Additionally, Red Bull Racing’s and title rival Max Verstappen was fined €50,000 for examining the part on pit road, as it’s a breach of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code. That article states, “in the Parc Ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations.”

Due to no direct harm, Verstappen did not receive a stiffer penalty, but the stewards warned all teams and drivers that “future breaches may incur different penalties”.

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