Race Weekend Central

Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc Disqualified From US Grand Prix

Both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were formally disqualified by the FIA from the Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on Oct. 22 following post-race scrutineering.

Hamilton had originally finished second and Leclerc sixth prior to the FIA’s ruling.

The Mercedes and Ferrari of each retrospective driver were found to have rear skids (also known as “planks”, which are fitted to the underbody of the car) that were too worn down.

The part is a safety feature, introduced following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994, that is used essentially to block the car from being too low to the road. Excessive wear that leads to part failure could lead to the car bottoming out and the driver losing control in dangerous corners.

Both teams agreed with the assessment and explained that a combination of a bumpy race track and the tightness of the Sprint format on Saturday (Oct. 21) made it impossible for a check to occur lead to the fault.

The Stewards noted in their rulings that “the onus is on the competitor to ensure that the car is in compliance with the regulations at all times during an event{…} [t]herefore, the standard penalty for a breach of the Technical Regulations is imposed”.

As a result, all drivers behind Hamilton are bumped up a position and all drivers also behind Leclerc are bumped up a position. This means that joining Max Verstappen on the official podium are Lando Norris, who now finishes second, and Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz, who steps onto the podium in third.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was understanding of the ruling, according to a tweet by RACER’s Chris Medland. Mercedes will not appeal the ruling.

With both Hamilton and Leclerc disqualified from the top 10, two new drivers have now been added into points positions.

The Williams pair of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant are now the designated ninth and 10th place finishers. Sargeant’s point is the first of his career, and is the first point for an American in F1 since Michael Andretti‘s third place in the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.

About the author


Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021, and also formerly covered the SRX series from 2021-2023. He now covers the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and road course events in the NASCAR Cup Series.

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