Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title
Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Lewis Hamilton disqualified- Lewis Hamilton’s world championship hopes suffered a fresh blow Saturday when he was disqualified from qualifying and relegated to the back of the grid for the Brazil Grand Prix sprint race.

Formula 1 Brazil GP: The seven-time champion was penalised after his Mercedes’ DRS system (the flap mounted on the rear wing of the car which opens to gain top speed) was judged to have exceeded allowed limits.

Hamilton, who trails Max Verstappen by 19 points in the title race, had already been hit with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s grand prix after the engine was changed on his Mercedes.

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title

Also read: Formula 1 Brazil GP: Max Verstappen fined Rs 42.5 lakh for touching Lewis Hamilton’s car- check details

Meanwhile, Verstappen, who will now start the sprint from the front, was fined 50,000 euros ($57.2 million) for touching the Mercedes of Hamilton but was not handed a grid penalty.

Red Bull driver Verstappen was spotted examining Hamilton’s car in parc ferme after qualifying on Friday.

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Hamilton had been the fastest driver in the session and had been due to start Saturday’s sprint race from the front row with Verstappen on his shoulder.

The 24-lap sprint race will decide the starting order for Sunday’s race at the Interlagos circuit.

“It is clear to the stewards that it has become a habit of the drivers to touch cars after qualifying and the races,” said a statement from the stewards.

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title

“This was also the explanation of Verstappen, that it was simply habit to touch this area of the car which has been a point of speculation in recent races between both teams.

“This general tendency has been seen as mostly harmless and so has not been uniformly policed. Nevertheless, it is a breach of the parc ferme regulation and has significant potential to cause harm.”

Hamilton took P1 for the Sprint by more than four-tenths over Red Bull rival Vertappen, with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas lining up third, but now Hamilton has been disqualified from Friday’s qualifying session due to an infringement found on the rear wing of his car. He will now have to start last, in a major blow to his championship hopes.

Ahead of the Sprint event the stewards explained why they had handed the penalty to Hamilton: “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.

Formula 1 Brazil GP: Under pressure Lewis Hamilton disqualified from Qualifying, Max Verstappen on course for championship title

“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.”

POS DRIVER NATIONALITY CAR PTS
1 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING HONDA 312.5
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 293.5
3 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 185
4 Sergio Perez MEX RED BULL RACING HONDA 165
5 Lando Norris GBR MCLAREN MERCEDES 150