Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton Speaks Out on F1 Plank Wear Controversy: Calls for Change After U.S. Grand Prix Disqualification

Lewis Hamilton recently voiced his frustration over the plank wear disqualification at the U.S. Grand Prix, which he termed as “ridiculous.” The seven-time world champion was disqualified along with Charles Leclerc, leading to a loss of crucial points, and highlighted potential inconsistencies in the FIA’s checks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Disqualification Debate: Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the U.S. Grand Prix due to excessive plank wear on their cars. Hamilton, who finished second, and Leclerc, who secured P6, were both stripped of their points as a result of the disqualification.
  • Selective Scrutiny: Hamilton raised concerns about the FIA’s decision to check only four cars for plank wear. He speculated that a larger number of cars would have been found ‘illegal’ if all had been tested, given the 50% disqualification rate among those checked.
  • Call for Regulation Review: Highlighting the sport’s progress and the impact of such incidents, Hamilton suggested changes to regulations, especially considering the challenges posed by the bumpy COTA track and the restrictions on making car adjustments after Friday’s qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton’s recent comments following his disqualification from the U.S. Grand Prix have stirred up significant discussion in the Formula 1 community. The seven-time world champion and Charles Leclerc, both of whom were disqualified after their cars were found to exceed the allowable plank wear limits, have brought to light the need for a review of current F1 regulations and scrutiny processes.

Hamilton, speaking candidly to Sky F1 in Mexico, expressed his frustration over the ruling, denying that the lowered ride height of his W14 was the primary cause of the excessive wear. He pointed out the harsh reality of the bumpy Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and the regulations prohibiting car adjustments after Friday’s qualifying as contributing factors.

The controversy centers around the FIA’s decision to check only four cars for plank wear, with Hamilton emphasizing the likelihood that many more vehicles would have failed the test if all had been examined. This has led to questions about the fairness and consistency of the FIA’s enforcement of rules.

Notable figures in the F1 world, including former driver Martin Brundle and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, have echoed Hamilton’s concerns. Horner specifically criticized the restrictions imposed by the Sprint setup, which prevented teams from making necessary adjustments after Friday’s qualifying.

Hamilton’s statement reflects a broader call within the sport for a reassessment of regulations and procedures to ensure fairness and consistency. The incident at the U.S. Grand Prix not only highlights technical challenges but also underscores the need for a more comprehensive approach to rule enforcement in Formula 1, ensuring that the sport continues to evolve positively without being overshadowed by regulatory controversies.

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