Verdict also against Verstappen: Disqualified: Hamilton punished for illegal wing

Verdict against Verstappen too

Disqualified: Hamilton fined for illegal wing

Lewis Hamilton was on the road with an irregular rear wing in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix – and therefore loses his fastest time. So he has to start from the very back in the sprint on Saturday evening. Max Verstappen moves up to first place – and gets away with a fine.

On the home stretch of the Formula 1 season, a minor drama is looming over the two World Cup rivals in Brazil. After qualifying on Friday, the Mercedes was criticized by record world champion Lewis Hamilton, the Englishman is threatened with the start from the pit lane in this evening’s sprint (8.30 p.m. / Sky and in the live ticker on Because after what felt like an infinite waiting time, a decision was finally made almost two hours before the sprint: Hamilton is disqualified for a non-compliant rear wing and thus loses his best time on Friday evening. The starting situation in the fight for the world championship has become much worse for him.

The stewards also dealt with Hamilton’s World Cup opponent Max Verstappen, and this case is directly related to Hamilton’s offense: Verstappen examined the rear wing of his Red Bull immediately after qualifying and touched it, which he then repeated on Hamilton’s Mercedes. With this, Verstappen violated the parc fermé rules.

“Max checked a bit, that’s actually nothing unusual,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner at Sky UK and added: “Mercedes’ speed on the straights is impressive. You have to ask yourself questions.” Verstappen’s investigation then had consequences, albeit not sporting: the Dutch World Cup leader has to pay a $ 50,000 fine.

The accusation against Hamilton, however, was more serious: When the Drag Reduction System (DRS) was used, the adjustable rear wing opened too far. The FIA ​​announced that the maximum allowed between the upper and lower element had been exceeded. This could explain his big speed advantage in qualifying. The best time has been deleted, however, instead of Hamilton’s name is now the ominous abbreviation “DSQ” – disqualified.

Alonso surprises with the best time

During the second free practice session today, the hearings of the Mercedes and Red Bull delegations were over, but the judgments did not follow until after the 60-minute session. Like all drivers, Hamilton and Verstappen also took part in the unit, Hamilton used a replacement rear wing with the approval of the FIA, the World Automobile Federation.

Ex-world champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) won the session, in which mainly racing simulations were completed, with a lap time of 1: 11.238 minutes. Verstappen came in second (+0.864 seconds), Hamilton came in fifth (+1.503). The times are not really meaningful, however, as the teams concentrated on the optimal set-up of their cars for the sprint and the race.

With this, Verstappen now starts in front of Hamilton’s Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas. In the short race, however, it is primarily about the starting positions for the Grand Prix on Sunday (6 p.m. / Sky and in the live ticker at, the three fastest over 24 laps also secure points (3-2-1). Hamilton awaits a brutally difficult task. He has to work his way forward through the field as far as possible, but must not allow himself to have an accident.

In addition: For the actual race, the fourth-last World Championship round of the season, Hamilton expects an additional penalty of five starting positions due to an engine change. The Briton is 19 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship. If Verstappen leaves Brazil by at least 24 points, Hamilton will no longer be able to win his eighth title this year on his own.

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