Lewis Hamilton disqualified from United States GP: Reason explained, F1 statement, updated driver standings
Lewis Hamilton had his second-place finish taken away after being disqualified from Sunday’s United States Grand Prix
Hamilton had cruised to second place and felt he could have taken first place ahead of recently-crowned world champion Max Verstappen if his Mercedes team had produced a better race strategy. After the race, four cars were checked to ensure they were in compliance with the regulations, with Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth, disqualified as the depth of the floors on both cars was adjudged to be “outside the thresholds outlined in Article 3.5.9 e)” – which states that the floor plank cannot wear to below 9mm thickness.
Mercedes had shown up to Austin with a new floor, although the car of George Russell was not checked while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was promoted to third after his car was also not admitted for post-race checks. Verstappen’s Red Bull and Lando Norris’ McLaren were both checked and passed inspection. Hamilton’s disqualification moved Norris to second.
A statement from the FIA read: “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 (on Saturday) that minimised the time to set up and check the car before the race. 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 outlined in Article 3.5.9 e) of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations, which includes a tolerance for wear. Therefore, the standard penalty for a breach of the technical regulations is imposed.”
Addressing his punishment, Hamilton said: “It is, of course, disappointing to be disqualified post-race but that doesn’t take away from the progress.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted the nature of the schedule at the Circuit of the Americas meant it was difficult for Mercedes to get their set-up right with just one free practice session before qualifying on Friday and then the sprint shootout and sprint race on Saturday.
He said: “Set-up choices on a sprint weekend are always a challenge with just one hour of free practice – and even more so at a bumpy circuit like COTA and running a new package. In the end, all of that doesn’t matter. Others got it right where we got it wrong and there’s no wiggle room in the rules. We need to take it on the chin, do the learning and come back stronger next weekend in Mexico.”
How has it affected the standings?
With Verstappen wrapping up the championship early, all eyes are on second place to see if Hamilton can beat Sergio Perez to the runner-up spot. Initial standings before Hamilton’s disqualification meant he was just 19 points behind Perez, who finished the race in fifth. However, with Hamilton’s disqualification and Perez’s promotion to fourth spot, it resulted in a 20-point swing in favour of the Mexican who is now 39 points ahead of the seven-time world champion.
It is the second-straight race Hamilton has failed to score any points after he crashed out of the Qatar Grand Prix, although Perez only scored a point in that race two weeks ago, There are four races left this season with the Mexican Grand Prix up next followed by races in Brazil, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi. There is also one more sprint race - in Brazil - which gives drivers a chance to score more points.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 466 points
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull ) - 240
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 201
4. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) - 183
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) - 171
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) - 159
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - 151
8. George Russell (Mercedes) - 143
9. Oscar Piastri (McLaren) - 83
10. Pierre Gasly (Alpine) - 56
11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) - 53
12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) - 44
13. Alex Albon (Williams) - 25
14. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) - 10
15. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) - 9
16. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) - 8
17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) - 6
18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) - 3
19. Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri) - 2
20. Logan Sargeant (Williams) - 1
21. Nyck De Vries (AlphaTauri) - 0
22. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri) - 0