Lewis Hamilton claims many more cars were illegal at United States Grand Prix

By Sports Desk October 26, 2023

Lewis Hamilton has claimed there were multiple drivers who should have been disqualified from last weekend’s United States Grand Prix for running an illegal car.

Hamilton was stripped of his second place after the floor on his upgraded Mercedes failed a post-race scrutineering check.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth, was also kicked out of the classification for an identical breach.

But Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who claimed his 15th win of the season, and the McLaren of Lando Norris, elevated to second following Hamilton’s penalty, were both cleared of any wrongdoing.

However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s race in Mexico City, Hamilton said: “I heard from several sources that there were a lot of other cars that were illegal and they were not tested so they got away with it.

“I have been racing here for 16 years and there have been many other scenarios like this where some people have got away with it, and some have been unlucky and have been tested.”

Hamilton said the sprint format in Austin – which allowed for just one hour of practice before parc ferme rules heavily constrict changes to the cars – coupled with the bumpy nature of the Circuit of the Americas were behind his disqualification.

Limited FIA resources means the governing body checks only a handful of cars after a race, and the selections are based on oscillation data.

But Hamilton continued: “There needs to be a better structure to make sure it is fair and even across the board.

“We have never had that problem in Austin before, and is because we had a sprint race. An easy fix is that we should be able to change the floors.

“The car should not be set from Friday morning especially at the bumpiest track on the calendar.

“That is the only reason there were failures. And that reason wasn’t why we were as fast as we were. We hope we have another strong weekend here.”

Hamilton finished just 2.2 seconds behind Verstappen in his most competitive race of the season – one he believed he could have won if Mercedes did not fluff their strategy lines.

“I had just come out the press conference and I was about to get into the ice tub when (team principal) Toto (Wolff) came running down and told me,” added Hamilton.

“It was devastating because it was such a great day and a great race. I was deflated, but there are lots of positives to take from it.”

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