Formula 1

F1 News: Hamilton Calls Out FIA Testing Protocols Post-Disqualification

In a revealing statement, Lewis Hamilton criticized the FIA’s testing protocols after his disqualification from the United States Grand Prix, asserting that many cars were “illegal” but not scrutinized. This controversy has sparked a debate on fairness and structure in Formula 1 racing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Disappointment in Disqualification: Hamilton expressed his devastation at losing his second-place finish due to a plank discrepancy, emphasizing the emotional rollercoaster from the race’s success to the disqualification news.
  • Concerns Over Testing Fairness: He raised serious questions about the consistency of the FIA’s testing protocols, suggesting that other cars with potentially “illegal” planks were not subjected to similar scrutiny.
  • Call for Rule Revision: The Mercedes driver criticized the limitations of the Sprint format, such as restricted on-track time and setup changes, urging for a revision to ensure a more equitable racing environment.

Lewis Hamilton, after facing disqualification for a plank discrepancy at the United States Grand Prix, has made a strong call for changes in the FIA’s testing protocols. Despite securing a commendable second place at the Circuit of the Americas, the joy was short-lived due to post-race checks revealing regulatory non-compliance.

“I had just come out of the press conference. I got back and was about to get into the ice tub when Toto [Wolff] came down and told me. Obviously devastated after such a good day and a great race. I didn’t find out fully until I was back home [in Austin]. A bit deflated but still lots of positives to take from it.” [as quoted by]

Hamilton’s critique extended beyond his own disqualification. He pointed out the inconsistency in FIA’s approach, noting that several cars might have had similar issues but were not tested. This inconsistency, according to Hamilton, leads to an uneven playing field.

“Firstly I’ve heard from several different sources that there were a lot of other cars that were also illegal and weren’t tested, so they get away with it. I’ve been racing here for 16 years and there’s been times that there’s been many other scenarios like this. Some people have gotten away with some things, and some people have just been unlucky they got tested. Ultimately, there needs to be some better structure to make sure it’s fair and even across the board.”

In addition, Hamilton discussed the challenges posed by the Sprint format in Formula 1, especially at the bumpy Circuit of the Americas. He suggested that allowing changes to car setups throughout the weekend could mitigate these issues.

“We’ve never had that problem in Austin before. It’s just that we had a Sprint race before. An easy fix for that one, [would be to] just approach the weekend differently where the car is not set from Friday morning, especially at the bumpiest track we have been to. That’s really the only reason there’s failures, because it’s so bumpy.”

Hamilton concluded by reflecting on the implications of the car’s setup and performance, stressing that minor discrepancies like the one that led to his disqualification are not decisive in race outcomes but painful nonetheless.

“Last year, our car was best when it was low. So we were low and stiff. Our car works better at high ride heights now. It’s not that we were pushing the car too low, it’s just an unfortunate scenario. 0.05 failure on the rear skid is not the main difference between winning or losing. That area wasn’t the reason we were fastest. That’s why it’s just a bit painful for us because if we changed our rear springs for example, perhaps we would have had a better ride. But we are hopeful that the performance will continue this weekend. Just need to make sure that the guys don’t overreact but I think we’ll be fine.”

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