In a surprising twist, Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time World Champion, and Mercedes driver, shared his frustration and disbelief at being disqualified from the recent United States Grand Prix, where he had clinched a second-place finish. Alongside him, Charles Leclerc from Ferrari, who finished in sixth place, also faced disqualification. The reason behind this unexpected turn of events was the discovery that the underfloor planks on both cars had worn down too much, breaking the rules.
Lewis Hamilton Encouraged to Take Action
Lewis Hamilton did not hold back when he criticized the disqualification. He found it “ridiculous” and questioned whether the process was fair. Only four cars had their planks checked to see if they met the rules. Each of the top four teams in the race chose these cars. Hamilton strongly believed that if they had examined more cars, they would have found a significant number of them breaking the rules. He argued that the condition of the plank under the car wasn’t something that improved performance. He also suggested that the sport needed to rethink how it enforces these rules.
“There are many people who might not really understand how the worn plank was affecting the race,” Hamilton said. He explained that the slight difference in how high the car sits off the ground was the cause of the excessive wear. However, he emphasized that this difference didn’t significantly affect how well his car performed. The variation in how high the car rides depends on the car’s design. This, in turn, affects its ability to grip the road, but it doesn’t necessarily give one car a big advantage over another.
Mercedes Relying on Recent Improvements
Despite the disqualification, there is a feeling of hope within the Mercedes team. Lewis Hamilton and his team believe that recent improvements have been made to the W14’s floor. These changes are expected to have a significant impact on how well the car performs. Hamilton shared his appreciation for all the hard work put in by the Mercedes team. He mentioned that it felt good to see their efforts pay off. Hamilton felt positive about the remaining races in the season. He hoped for competitive showings, especially if they make good choices about strategy and pit stops. James Allison, Mercedes’ technical director, reinforced the team’s belief in their recent upgrades, even though they faced disqualification.
He stressed that the disqualification was more about how they had set up the car and the bumpy track conditions than about the upgrades themselves. As they look ahead, Mercedes wants to make the most of the unique challenges they’ll face at the high-altitude Mexico City Grand Prix and the Brazil race. Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification at the US Grand Prix left him feeling unhappy. However, it also showed that Formula 1 needs to make sure it fairly and transparently checks all the cars. As Mercedes continues to make adjustments to their car, fans can expect some exciting racing in the upcoming events. Hamilton and his team are aiming for a strong finish in the 2023 season and beyond.