Mercedes boss Toto Wolff would accept a repeat of the events that led to Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification in the United States over lacking the pace to win races.

Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc were disqualified after post-race checks discovered their two cars didn’t comply with the regulations governing plank wear.

Despite concerns throughout the weekend regarding the notorious bumps at the Circuit of the Americas, the FIA elected to retain its standard protocol of checking four cars.

Therefore, the other 13 classified runners at the chequered flag avoided potential punishment, including the respective team-mates of both Hamilton and Leclerc.

Hamilton revealed on Thursday in Mexico that he was told by “several sources” that other cars’ planks would have been deemed “illegal” if they had been investigated.

“That’s the feedback we got from the other teams,” Wolff echoed to Sky Sports F1. “Obviously they’re chatting with each other, the drivers, and also on a management level.

“I think many many teams were probably under the nine mil[limetres].”

Max Verstappen attributed rival teams falling foul of the rulebook to the Sprint format only allocating one practice hour before the drivers are locked into their chosen set-ups.

Wolff has agreed with Verstappen, admitting that, like Ferrari, Mercedes was convinced it had sacrificed enough margin with the ride height of its W14 car to avoid problems.

“The problem with the Sprint races is the car goes into parc ferme and you can’t adjust it any more,” Wolff argued. “We thought on Saturday that it could be on the limit but probably with a little bit of a margin.

“But we had a new floor, we got more downforce. Probably also in the Sprint race we didn’t run as much non-DRS laps which smashed the floor more so it was the stars were not aligned.”

(L to R): Penni Thow (CDN) Copper Founding Partner and President / Project 44 Business Management with Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Susie Wolff (GBR) F1 Academy Managing Director. 21.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Sprint Day.

Mercedes unveiled a revised floor in Austin, which Hamilton described as the first upgrade “he’s felt over the last two years.”

Wolff admits the upgrade “played an element” in Hamilton’s disqualification, before adding “we got more downforce, which is the positive, and you’re smashing the car on the bumps a little bit more.”

But the Austrian chief is confident that the issue won’t provide another discussion point across the remaining four rounds this year.

“It was absolutely specific [to Austin] and also because of the Sprint race weekend so we were more cautious now we have the data and we probably can adjust a little bit.”

Wolff insists he would prioritise experiencing a similar situation but having the pace to challenge for victories rather than lagging behind and remaining within the rules.

Hamilton matched his best result of the season to date, coming within 2.2s of usurping Verstappen’s Red Bull following a spirited charge in the closing laps.

“I would take the same thing [again] and I would also take the disqualification because we got it wrong,” he concluded.

“I take a disqualification running for a race win and seeing the performance against running P3 and ending up 25 seconds adrift. So every day of the week, I’ll go through the disqualification,” he concluded.

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

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