Hamilton reacts to disqualification from United States Grand Prix

Hamilton reacts to disqualification from United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton shared a mock photo of himself and Charles Leclerc on Instagram following their disqualification from Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

The FIA discovered both drivers’ results — Leclerc placing sixth and Hamilton taking second — to be invalid after the race because their under-floor planks did not meet the minimum thickness required as per the regulations.

While the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas are likely to blame for the wear on the floors of both cars, Hamilton posted a photo of himself and Leclerc on social media with the caption “mood” and a stone-faced expression.

Leclerc and Hamilton both appeared on the image accompanied by the Instagram post, which was shared on Hamilton’s account and also appeared on the Ferrari driver’s profile after Leclerc approved it.

The two drivers would understandably be disappointed with the outcome. This is given that their cars were two of the four that were inspected after the race for that particular component, along with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and Lando Norris’ McLaren.

On Sunday in Austin, Hamilton particularly came very close to winning after catching up to Verstappen in the final laps and finishing just two seconds behind him at the finish.

The planks beneath F1 cars are only permitted to wear down by about 1mm during a race, as ground effect cars should perform better the closer they are to the ground.

The US Grand Prix being a Sprint event, the practice time is limited to one hour instead of the usual three, both Mercedes and Ferrari explained to the FIA that the bumps at COTA probably contributed to the excessive wear Hamilton and Leclerc experienced.

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The fact that Hamilton and Leclerc were disqualified in no way suggests a calculated effort to break the rules.

Rather, the sprint format, which only allows for an hour of practice before parc ferme takes effect, caught them off guard. Teams are severely limited in how they can modify the car going forward.

As a result of the short window, some teams were unable to finish extensive fuel running before the race. Due to the resurfacing of Turns 12, 14, 15, and 16, they were unable to optimize the vehicle to handle the Circuit of The Americas bumps, which were noticeably worse this year.

“It is of course disappointing to be disqualified post-race but that doesn’t take away from the progress we’ve made this weekend,” Hamilton said after the race.

“We had good pace and I was feeling great in the car. It was tough racing those around me as they were so quick, but we can be happy with many things.

“I feel positive as we’re moving forward, even if reflecting on it we could have possibly won.”

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