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Technical breach causes Hamilton's disqualification at U.S. Grand Prix

Mercedes will not appeal to F1 after the disqualification

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc faced disqualification from the United States Grand Prix, and their race results were nullified after irregularities were detected during the post-race inspection by the FIA Technical team.

The investigation focused on a plank wear inspection which revealed issues with their cars.

The Delegate's Report emphasised that the skids in the specific area of the car, known by coordinates -825 ≥ XR ≥ -1025, were found to be non-compliant with Article 3.5.9 e) of the 2023 Formula One Technical Regulations.


Consequently, both Hamilton and Leclerc's cases were referred to the race stewards.

Hamilton had a strong performance, securing a second-place finish and closely challenging race-winner Max Verstappen throughout the race.

For this event, Mercedes introduced a new floor as part of their final major upgrade package of the year.

Leclerc crossed the finish line in sixth place, narrowly ahead of George Russell's Mercedes, while racing on a one-stop strategy that proved to be less favourable in the latter stages of the race.

The disqualification led to a significant reshuffle in the race standings, with McLaren's Lando Norris moving up to second place.


Hamilton expressed his disappointment at the disqualification in a post-race press release, acknowledging the progress made by the Mercedes team during the weekend.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari found themselves in violation of article 3.5.9 of the 2023 F1 technical regulations, which concerns the thickness and wear of the plank assembly on the underside of Formula 1 cars.

The specific requirement stipulates that the thickness of the plank assembly, measured perpendicular to the lower surface, should be 10mm ± 0.2mm when new and uniform. It allows for a minimum thickness of 9mm due to wear.


Compliance with this provision is checked at the peripheries of the designated holes in the plank.

The introduction of the plank assembly dates back to the 1994 German Grand Prix, a response to the tragic events that occurred at Imola earlier that year, claiming the lives of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

In an effort to address safety concerns and reduce the speed of the cars, Formula 1 mandated the use of a 10mm wooden plank, or more precisely, a high-density wood laminate, to be affixed to the car's underside.

This implementation raised the ride height of the cars, consequently reducing the generation of underfloor downforce.


Delegates from both Mercedes and Ferrari presented their cases to the race stewards, offering an explanation for the excessive wear on the skid pads of their cars.

They suggested that this wear and tear may have been attributed to the specific conditions of the circuit, which included its notably uneven surface, and the compressed Sprint race schedule that limited the time available for comprehensive car setup and inspection before the main race.

These factors, they argued, might have contributed to the irregularities observed in the post-race inspection.


While both teams retain the option to appeal the ruling, indications from their official social media accounts seem to signal their acceptance of the decisions.

  1. This suggests that the disqualifications may stand, leaving significant repercussions in the world of Formula 1.


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