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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Hamilton and Leclerc disqualified from F1 US GP for automotive plank guidelines breach

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Operating an upgraded Mercedes flooring, US GP runner-up Hamilton proved notably speedy through the ultimate stint on the Circuit of The Americas to shut to inside 2.225 seconds of winner Max Verstappen at the flag.

In the meantime, Leclerc was hamstrung by being the one finisher to undertake a one-stop technique throughout the 56 laps, which left him susceptible within the closing levels as he fell again to sixth place.

Nevertheless, random post-race flooring checks have been accomplished on the automobiles of Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen and third-placed Lando Norris. The previous two have been discovered non-compliant.

Accordingly, Hamilton and Leclerc have been disqualified.

An FIA bulletin learn: “Throughout the listening to the group(s) acknowledged that the measurement carried out by the FIA Technical Group was right and said that the excessive put on on the skid pads was most likely a results of the distinctive mixture of the bumpy observe and the dash race schedule that minimised the time to arrange and examine the automotive earlier than the race.

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“The Stewards be aware that the onus is on the competitor to make sure that the automotive is in compliance with the rules always throughout an occasion. On this explicit case, the rear skid within the space outlined within the Technical Delegate’s report was outdoors of the thresholds…which features a tolerance for put on.

“Subsequently, the usual penalty for a breach of the Technical Laws is imposed.”

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

The 2 drivers have been in breach of Article 3.5.9 e) of the 2023 Method 1 technical rules. This reads: “The thickness of the plank meeting measured regular to the decrease floor should be 10mm [plus or minus] 0.2mm and should be uniform when new.

“A minimal thickness of 9mm shall be accepted as a consequence of put on, and conformity to this provision shall be checked on the peripheries of the designated holes.”

Because the stewards famous, this illegality is the results of the dash race format combining with bumpy observe floor on the Circuit of The Americas, regardless of Turns 12 and 14-16 having been resurfaced.

For the dash weekend, parc ferme guidelines come into impact after the one hour of free observe working on Friday afternoon.

Groups can break the set-up lockdown to regulate the automotive, however this requires a pitlane begin – as chosen by each Haas and Aston Martin for each its automobiles.

On account of the disqualifications, Norris has been promoted to second whereas Carlos Sainz completes the rostrum.

Sergio Perez climbs to fourth, whereas George Russell, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant now full the highest 10 – with Sargeant scoring the primary factors of his F1 profession to duly turn out to be the primary American to complete within the factors since Michael Andretti within the 1993 Italian GP.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff accepted Hamilton’s disqualification and felt the extreme plank put on was triggered by the bumpy observe and debuting its improve bundle on a dash race weekend.

“Turning to the race end result and the disqualification, set-up decisions on a dash weekend are all the time a problem with only one hour of free observe – and much more so at a bumpy circuit like COTA and working a brand new bundle,” Wolff stated in a Mercedes press launch.

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“Ultimately, all of that does not matter; others obtained it proper the place we obtained it fallacious and there isn’t any wiggle room within the guidelines. We have to take it on the chin, do the educational, and are available again stronger subsequent weekend.”

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