Hamilton disqualified after rear-wing infringement as Verstappen fined

Sir Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from yesterday’s Brazilian GP qualifying ahead of the Sprint Race and will start at the back of the grid.

The reigning champion has been disqualified from yesterday’s qualifying after breaching Article 3.6.3 of the Technical Regulations.

His Mercedes-AMG W12 did not fulfil the required maximum 85mm gap measurement, referring to the adjustable positions of uppermost rear wing element.

According to FIA Document 29, the car successfully passed the element of the checks mandating a gap of between 10 and 15mm between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing (with DRS not activated).

On the other hand, the breach was when DRS was activated when the gap threshold is extended between 10 and 85mm.

A gauge of 85mm was pushed against the gap with a force of 10 Newtons; in this case, the device went through the gap and failed the test as a result.

Stewards noted this was not a “systematic breach” by the team, instead “unique”.

Furthermore, Hamilton suggested there was no relation to another situation where Max Verstappen touched the car during Parc Ferme conditions yesterday.

The seven-time World Champion will start today’s Sprint Race from P20, and will undergo an added five-place penalty on Sunday for his already-announced engine change.

The Dutchman, who leads the standings by 19 points over the Briton, faced a €50,000 fine for touching and examining the rear wings of both his and Hamilton’s cars.

To reach the conclusion, several examples of fan-originated and on-board car camera footage captured Verstappen putting his right hand at the slot-gap of the rear wing of his car.

He then moved to Hamilton’s Mercedes to repeat the exercise, touching the rear wing in two places; once on either side of the DRS actuation device.

The Sprint Race remains a crucial challenge to Hamilton’s proximity with his main championship title rival, as he looks make up as many places as possible before taking the grid penalty for the main race on Sunday.