cloudyn.png
Sunday December 5th, 2021 6:31PM

Hamilton disqualified in qualifying, Verstappen fined

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAO PAULO (AP) — Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from Friday's qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a technical infringement by Mercedes in the latest blow to the British driver's defense of his Formula One title.

The stewards' decision forces Hamilton to start Saturday's sprint race at Interlagos in last position.

Hamilton and Mercedes can appeal the decision.

On a dramatic pre-race day, Hamilton’s rival, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, was fined after the Dutch driver was seen touching the rear wing of the Mercedes car.

The sprint race will determine the grid for Sunday's main race in which Hamilton will start at best in sixth due to a separate five-place penalty for Mercedes changing the car's engine in Sao Paulo.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by 19 points in the standings with four races left this season.

Hamilton beat the Dutchman by more than 0.4 seconds in qualifying for the sprint race, but organizers said that his Mercedes was under investigation for DRS exceeding the maximum distance when opened. The technical infringement typically leads to exclusion from a session. The decision was only announced after Saturday's practice session, and before the sprint race.

“It was clear to the stewards that the additional deflection was due to additional play either in the DRS actuator or the pivots at the end, or some combination or other fault with the mechanism, or incorrect assembly of the parts,” the decision said. “There is therefore no question in the minds of the stewards that the test failure indicates any intent to exceed the maximum dimension either by action or design.”

The decision also says Mercedes argued that the rear wing design had passed FIA’s tests several times during the season and had always been approved. Mercedes denied having any intent to breach regulations.

Hamilton's disqualification will put Verstappen in pole for the 24-lap sprint race, which offers three points to the winner. Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas will move to second position, while Red Bull's Sergio Perez will be third. AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly will inherit the fourth place on the grid.

Earlier, Verstappen was fined 50,000 euros ($57,200) by stewards after video taken from the grandstands at Interlagos showed him touching the rear wing of rival Hamilton's car.

The Dutchman can appeal the decision given by the stewards, who said he did not harm his competitor's car with the touch.

The video recorded by a spectator shows Verstappen apparently inspecting the rear wing on the Mercedes in the Parc Ferme — a secure area for cars at the track.

“Considering the fact that no direct harm was caused in this case, in the opinion of the stewards, and that no earlier precedent of penalties for this exists – on the one hand; but that it is a breach of the regulation and has potential for serious consequences on the other, the stewards determine to take action in this case and order a fine of 50,000 euros,” the stewards said.

Article 2.5.1 of the FIA sporting code says that “inside the Parc Ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorized by the same officials or by the applicable regulations.”

Stewards said the footage showed Verstappen's touch is clear.

“(He takes) his gloves off and puts his right hand at the slot-gap of the rear wing of his car. He then moves to (Hamilton's) car 44 and repeats the exercise, touching the rear wing in two places, once on either side of the DRS actuation device, but on the bottom rear side of the wing, in the area of the slot gap and never near the actuator or the end fixation points,” the stewards added.

“There is absolutely no movement of any of the wing elements on car 44 when Verstappen touches the back of the wing and the stewards are satisfied, from watching all the videos, his body position and the video of the wing, that there was insignificant force when Verstappen touched the wing."

Saturday's free practice session, which was not very competitive, ended with Alpine driver Fernando Alonso clocking the fastest lap, more than 0.8 ahead of second-placed Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP is the third event of the season with a qualifying sprint race. The two previous sprint races were held at Silverstone and Monza.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had said he would be surprised to see his driver punished for checking Hamilton's car.

"Drivers are very inquisitive animals sometimes. We’ve seen it many, many times,” Horner said.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, Formula One Racing
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
AP source: Rams receiver Robert Woods has torn knee ligament
A person with knowledge of the injury says Los Angeles Rams receiver Robert Woods tore a knee ligament in Friday’s practice
1:18PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Climate consensus appears near; India objects to coal plans
Almost 200 nations are poised to adopt a compromise on how to curb climate change and to keep a key global warming target alive after 15 days of contentious climate talks
1:11PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Hamilton disqualified in qualifying, Verstappen fined
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from Friday’s qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a technical infringement by Mercedes
1:00PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Verstappen fined $57,200 in Brazil, Alonso tops practice
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has been fined $57,200 by stewards at the Brazilian Grand Prix after video taken from the grandstands at Interlagos showed the Formula One championship leader touching the rear wing of rival Lewis Hamilton’s car
12:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Verstappen investigated in Brazil, Alonso tops free practice
Red Bull driver and Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen is being investigated at the Brazilian Grand Prix for an alleged breach of the sporting code
11:15AM ( 2 hours ago )
Pulisic sparks US over Mexico 2-0 in World Cup qualifying
Christian Pulisic scored on a glancing header with his first touch of the game in the 74th minute and Weston McKennie added a goal in the 85th to lift the United States over Mexico 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier
10:36AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Petit Le Mans closes North America's motorsports season
North American motorsports wraps up its competition this weekend in Georgia
4:37PM ( 20 hours ago )
Hamilton sees steep challenge against Verstappen in Brazil
Lewis Hamilton is running out of time in his quest to win a fifth straight Formula One title and the Brazilian Grand Prix offers the British driver little hope of catching leader Max Verstappen
2:19PM ( 1 day ago )
NASCAR's new champion takes scouting trip to La-La-Land
NASCAR champion Kyle Larson is the first driver to get a good look at the site of the season-opening exhibition all-star Busch Light Clash
5:16PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Verstappen shows dominant speed in practice for Mexican GP
Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen dominated the second practice for Mexican Grand Prix with enough speed that he should be the race favorite
8:09PM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: Official: China needs to be top climate polluter
 China is at a “special development stage” that warrants its status as the world’s biggest current emitter of climate-damaging fossil fuel pollution
1:10PM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: Africa seeks $12.5B from world to tackle climate
The head of the African Union says the world must support the continent’s efforts to adapt to climate change, including a program that requires $25 billion over five years
12:15PM ( 1 week ago )
Formula One Racing
AP source: Rams receiver Robert Woods has torn knee ligament
A person with knowledge of the injury says Los Angeles Rams receiver Robert Woods tore a knee ligament in Friday’s practice
1:18PM ( 7 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Did Rittenhouse lawyers do enough to prevail?
When Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand to testify about his actions the night he shot three men on the streets of Kenosha — sobbing and seemingly unable to continue as he approached the critical moment where he shot the first man — it was one of the most compelling moments in his two-week murder trial
12:50PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Ecuador battle between prison gangs leaves at least 58 dead
A prolonged gun battle between rival gangs inside Ecuador’s largest prison has left at least 58 inmates dead in the latest violence to hit the Litoral Penitentiary, which recently saw the country’s worst prison bloodbath
12:46PM ( 39 minutes ago )
More turn to abortion pills by mail, with legality uncertain
COVID-19 and state abortion restrictions like a near-ban that took effect in Texas in September have people with unwanted pregnancies increasingly considering getting abortion pills by mail
12:35PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Climate consensus appears near; India objects to coal plans
Countries participating in United Nations talks to curb global warming appear to be nearing a consensus, but an objection from India emerged as the latest stumbling block
12:34PM ( 52 minutes ago )