In a shocking turn of events, Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the US Grand Prix after his car failed a post-race inspection. Hamilton, who finished second in his Mercedes behind race-winner Max Verstappen, was not the only driver to be disqualified, as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also faced the same fate.
Both Hamilton's and Leclerc's cars were subjected to random checks after the race, where it was discovered that they had breached the rules regarding the thickness of the bottoms of the car. The bottom part of the car, known as the skid block or plank, is responsible for making contact with the track and causing sparks.
Team Summoned to Stewards
Hamilton's Mercedes team was called to the FIA stewards in race control over two hours after the race had finished. After a hearing, it was confirmed that both drivers had been disqualified.
Statement from FIA
In a statement, the FIA said, "The Stewards note 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 which includes a tolerance for wear. Therefore, the standard penalty for a breach of the Technical Regulations is imposed."
Hamilton's Missed Opportunity
Before his disqualification, Hamilton expressed his belief that he could have won the US Grand Prix if not for a strategy error and pitstop mishap. He felt that he could have finished ahead of Max Verstappen and was disappointed with the missed opportunity.
As a result of Hamilton's disqualification, McLaren's Lando Norris moves up to second place, and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz is placed third.
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