Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the 2023 U.S. Grand Prix of Formula 1 because their car planks were determined to be unduly worn down.
Following the United States Grand Prix F1 race, a plank wear check was conducted on the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, and both drivers were disqualified after Sunday’s race.
The five-time United States Grand Prix race winner placed second at the U.S. Grand Prix, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished sixth due to a poor strategy. Following the race, the FIA technical team conducted their normal thorough inspection, during which certain evaluations were taken from each car.
Racing on an updated Mercedes floor, Hamilton delivered exceptional speed in his final run at the Circuit of the Americas, coming in just 2.25 seconds behind Max Verstappen at the chequered flag.
As for Leclerc, he struggled by the fact that he was the only driver to use a one-stop strategy for the entire 56 laps. This made him defenseless in the final stages and caused him to drop back to sixth.
Only four cars were picked for plank wear assessment: Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, Lando Norris’ McLaren, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
After the test, the FIA verified that the cars driven by Verstappen and Norris had passed the assesment. However, the remaining two cars had not complied with the rules.
The statement from the FIA read: “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.
“During the hearing the team acknowledged that the measurement performed by the FIA Technical Team was correct and stated that the high wear on the skid pads was probably a result of the unique combination of the bumpy track and the Sprint race schedule that minimized the time to set up and check the car before the race.”
The U.S. Grand Prix Stewards noted that: “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 of the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e) of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations, which includes a tolerance for wear.”
Both drivers were disqualified from the Austin race as a result of it. This meant that Hamilton lost his second place finish at the US Grand Prix and Leclerc lost sixth in the Austin Formula One round.
Despite Turns 12 and 14–16 having been redone, the stewards state that this illegality is the result of the sprint race format combined with the uneven track surface at the Circuit of The Americas. After the one hour of free practice running on Friday afternoon, parc freme rules apply for the sprint weekend.
Lando Norris jumps to second place following the disqualifications, and Carlos Sainz rounds out the podium slots. George Russell leaps from seventh to fifth place, while Sergio Perez moves up to fourth.
Pierre Gasly moves up to sixth and Lance Stroll moves up to seventh due to the violation. Yuki Tsunoda advances up the order to eighth, while Williams drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant take ninth and tenth place, respectively as the American driver earns his first F1 point on home territory.