Lewis Hamilton will start from the back of the field for this evening’s Sprint and has been disqualified from Qualifying in Brazil for a rear-wing infringement on his Mercedes.
Stewards this evening confirmed that the DRS wing on his car was not in compliance with the regulations and will therefore be excluded from the results.
The mounting sanctions on Hamilton – including a five-place grid penalty for an engine change – mean the seven-time World Champion’s ability to clinch the 2021 Title most certainly hangs in the balance.
Explaining the reasoning behind his penalty, the stewards said; “In lay terms, there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing. When the DRS is not activated this gap must be between 10mm and 15mm. The car passed this part of the test.
“When DRS is activated, which raises the upper element of the wing to a flatter position, the gap must be between 10mm and 85mm.
“The maximum gap is measured, in accordance with TD/011-19, by pushing an 85mm gauge against the gap with a maximum load of 10N (ten newtons.)
“If the gauge goes through then the car has failed the test.
“In this case, the gauge would not pass through at the inner section of the wing, but did at the outer section of the wing.
“This test was repeated four times with two different gauges, once being done in the presence of the Stewards and representatives of the Competitor.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was handed a €50,000 fine for touching Hamilton’s rear wing in parc ferme after qualifying.
In another statement the stewards said; “No direct harm was caused in this case.”
“It was unlikely that Verstappen’s actions caused the fault, however [Mercedes] felt that it was an open question.”