Mercedes admits that the team has been left “embarrassed” by the technical infringement that saw Lewis Hamilton disqualified from the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton matched his best result of the season to date last Sunday in Austin, mounting a large charge to come within 2.2s of usurping Max Verstappen for victory.

However, the Briton was disqualified post-race along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after their cars did not comply with the regulations governing only 1mm of plank wear.

Speaking on Sunday, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff relayed that the lack of track time afforded by the Sprint format contributed to the German marque being caught out.

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison has echoed Wolff’s comments, citing that the sole hour of practice running flagged no wear to the plank from the bumps and kerbs.

“Austin is a track with a very bumpy surface and therefore you are a bit more vulnerable to bumping the car on the ground,” Allison explained via Mercedes’ post-race review.

“We just simply didn’t take enough margin at the end of free practice 1.

“When we had done our set-up, we checked the plank and everything all looked fine, untouched after the FP1 running. But the results of the race speak for themselves.

“We were illegal, so clearly, we should have had our car set a little bit higher up to give ourselves a little bit more margin. It’s of course a mistake, it’s an understandable sort of mistake in a sprint weekend where it’s so much harder to get that stuff right, especially on a bumpy track.

“But a lesson for us in the future to make sure that we take more margin especially at a track like that with all its bumps.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 on the grid. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day.

While Allison accepts the whole side is reeling from falling foul of the rules, he insists the lost points don’t detract from the strength of Mercedes’ race-day performance.

Mercedes brought a revised floor to the Circuit of the Americas, intended to determine whether the squad was on the “right track” with development for next year.

But Hamilton was buoyed by “one of the first upgrades that I’ve actually felt over the last two years”, adding that the upgraded W14 instilled added confidence in him to push.

“Of course, the disqualification is a significant blow,” Allison added. “It’s a miserable feeling. It hurts and everybody here feels it.

“Everybody is upset, embarrassed to a degree as well because we absolutely don’t like being on the wrong side of the rules and just lamenting the lost points.

“Give it a day or two and that will start to wane and be replaced by the much happier feeling, which is we moved our car forward this weekend and that’s hard to do.

“But we did it and we did it by a decent amount. And with four races left in the championship, four races where I am sure we will stay on the right side of the skid block rules.

“The initial feeling [of] hurt, disappointment and frustration will pass to be replaced by the sunny optimism of knowing that the car looked bright on this upgrade package, and we’ve got four more races to show what we can do with it.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *