Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton were disqualified from the United States Grand Prix after a failed plank inspection. Hamilton lost his second-place finish when his Mercedes failed a physical floor and plank inspection after Sunday’s race. Leclerc (Ferrari) who finished sixth was found guilty of the same offence.
Following the race in Austin the FIA technical team carried out an inspection, the delegate’s report stated: “The skids located in the area are found not to comply with Article 3.5.9 e) of the 2023 Formula One Technical Regulations.” Hamilton’s disqualification saw Lando Norris promoted to second and Carlos Sainz third.
The ruling also means that Logan Sargeant, the driver for Williams, earned his first point in a home race.
In Mercedes’ post-race press release, Lewis Hamilton 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.”
The FIA statement notes that both Mercedes and Ferrari acknowledged the breach was the result of a “unique combination of the bumpy track and the sprint race schedule that minimised the time to step up and check the car before the race.”Embed from Getty Images
However, the stewards said: “The onus is on the competitor to ensure that the car is in compliance with the regulations at all times during an event.
“In this particular case, the rear skid in the area defined in the Technical Delegate’s report was outside the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e) of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations, which includes tolerance for wear.”
Results of the US GP
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- Lando Norris, Mclaren
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull
- George Russell, Mercedes
- Pierre Gasly, Alpine
- Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
- Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
- Alex Albon, Williams
- Logan Sargeant, Williams
Is the track to blame?
The tarmac at the Circuit of The Americas was highlighted in a post-race conference. Max Verstappen said: “It needs to be redone. Because at the moment it feels like it’s better suited to a rally car. Like I’m jumping and bouncing around.
“In an F1 car, you probably don’t even see it as much because of course we are glued to the ground because of the downforce, but the bumps and jumps that we have in some places are way too much.
“I don’t think it’s F1 level.”
Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris agreed with Max Verstappen, Hamilton adding: “I agree with Max, it’s bumpy. I like some of the bumps because it adds character to a circuit but there are way too many.
“I love this track honestly, the layout is amazing. But we definitely need new tarmac and it needs to be a lot smoother for the coming years because we have already been asking for this for quite a few years now and it’s not really been done.”
Norris said: “They’ve covered it. It would be helpful if they didn’t put tarmac in the breaking zone as well. From what I’ve heard they’re resurfacing the first sector or something next year, so we’ll hope it’s a little bit better.”