Bumpy Circuit Shake-Up Results: Hamilton and Leclerc Disqualified at US Grand Prix

UNITED STATES: In a shocking turn of events at the United States Grand Prix, both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc faced disqualification after failing a post-race scrutineering check. The disqualification stripped them of their hard-earned points-paying positions, dramatically altering the championship landscape.

The investigation stemmed from a meticulous examination by FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer, who scrutinized the planks beneath their cars. Bauer reported, “The skids located in the area -825 ≥ XR ≥ – 1025 are found to be not in compliance with Article 3.5.9 e) of the 2023 Formula One Technical Regulations.”

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The technical directive that was found to be violated pertained to the thickness of the plank assembly, as defined in Article 3.5.9. (e), which mandates a measurement of 10mm ± 0.2mm when new. A minimum thickness of 9mm is allowable due to wear, with compliance checked at the peripheries of designated holes.

Representatives from both Mercedes and Ferrari presented their arguments, leading to a 90-minute deliberation by the stewards before the verdict of disqualification was reached.

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As a result, Lando Norris advanced to second place, followed by Carlos Sainz who claimed third. More significantly for the championship, Sergio Perez’s ascent to a net P4 widened his lead over Hamilton to 39 points, with four races remaining in the season.

The controversy raised questions about the Circuit of The Americas’ tarmac quality, which drivers criticized for its excessive bumpiness. Max Verstappen voiced his concerns about the Austin track that he loves and felt that the layout is amazing. However, he added that the track needs a new tarmac and it needs to be a lot smoother for the future.

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Hamilton concurred, acknowledging the need for improvements. He suggested that selective patching could be a cost-effective solution, emphasizing the need for a smoother racing surface.

Hamilton’s Mercedes had recently received a new-spec floor upgrade, a development he praised as a substantial advancement. While the investigation and subsequent disqualification cast a shadow over the Grand Prix, it also shed light on the critical role track conditions play in Formula One racing.

Also Read: Uncertain Future for Sergio Perez as Ex-F1 Racer Warns of Contract Vulnerability